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Under the Auspices JESTY QUEEN ELENA 

OF ITALY. Edited bv \ ELLO PICCOLI, D.Litt., 

Lecturer in Italiaii ii. 'i C.arabrid/T< With 

.,n rn,r,^^., 1=;C0UNT BRYCL 

John S. Sfltr-Kt h' \. 


Published for the PRO ITAI .IIITEE by 

T FISHER UNWiN LTD., race, London 

I 1 



Under the Auspices of HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELENA 


Lecturer in Italian at the University of Cambridge. With 

an Introduction by VISCOUNT BRYCE 

Published for the PRO ITALIA COMMITTEE by 
T. FISHER UNWIN LTD., Adelphi Terrace, London 

First Edition igi6 

Second Impression . . . igi6 
Third Impression . . . igi6 

All rights reserved 


Committee in aid of the Italian Soldiers* and Sailors' Families 
in the United Kingdom and of the Italian Red Cross 

Under the patronage of 



thb prime minister 

Thb Rioht Hon. Thk LORD MAYOR OP 

Th« Right Hok. The LORD PROVOST OF 

The Marqdess of CREWE, K.G. 
The Earl CURZON of Kedlestom, K.G. 
The Earl KITCHENER of Khartoum, K.G. 
The Earl of ALBEMARLE 
The Earl of ROSEBERY, K.G., K.T. 
The Earl BRASSEY, G.C.B. 
The Viscount BRYCE 





The Right Hon. Sir EDWARD GREY, K.G. 


G.C.V.O., C.B., P.C, 
The Right Hon. D. LLOYD GEORGE, M.P. 
The Right Hon. Sir ALBERT SPICER, P.C. 


n.S.H. Ths Princess or MONACO 
The Duchess of NORFOLK 
The Duchess of SOMERSET 
The Duchess of DEVONSHIRE 
The Duchess of MARLBOROUGH 
CANDIDA, Marchioness of TWEEDDALE 
The Marchioness of LANSDOWNE 
The Marchioness of CREWE 
The Countess of PEMBROKE and MONT- 
The Countess of GRANARD 
The Countess of ARRAN 
The Countess of MEXBOROUGH 
CORA, Countess of STRAFFORD 






















Royal Italian Consul 






Hon. Treasurer 

Hon. Secretary 

12 Waterloo Place 

Regent Street 

London, S.W. 



The chief aim of this book is to help the Italian 
Soldiers' and Sailors' Families in the United King- 
dom, and the Italian Red Cross, for which the Pro 
Italia Committee of London has already appealed, 
in many forms, and with most encouraging results, 
to the unbounded generosity of the British public. 
But, by means of this new form of appeal, a further 
end is served, which though outside the scope of 
mere work of public assistance, is not outside that 
of Caritas in the widest meaning of the word. 

If the present crisis, according to the most earnest 
hopes of our countries at war, is to produce some 
good for the world at large and promote the 
advancement of mankind, the main aspect of 
such a benefit from the war should surely be a 
closer intimacy, fostered by knowledge and under- 
standing, among the nations which are now united 
by community of ideals and of sufferings. The 
first idea of The Book of Italy was therefore that 
of a symposium, at which British and Italian writers, 
artists, and musicians should meet, and interchange 
their gifts expressing the soul and mutual love 
of the two nations. But it soon appeared that 
insuperable difficulties, of a merely material order, 
would prevent us from making the Italian part of 
the book truly representative of modern Italian life 
and thought, while the quick and large response 



that our appeal for contributions obtained in this 
country induced us to build it up in the fashion 
of a purely British home, where the few Italian 
contributors and the single French one should figure 
as passing guests, and the Editor fill the humble post 
of a master of the ceremonies. 

The book, when thus conceived, if I rightly 
interpret the intentions of its contributors, bears 
witness to the fact that the knowledge and love of 
Italian things, traditional in this country since the 
time of Chaucer, through Shakespeare, Milton, and 
Shelley, and warming the heart of every Italian with 
pride and gratitude, is as deep and widespread and 
heartfelt in the present generation as ever before. 
Such knowledge and love, together with our own 
ancient attachment to and admiration for the institu- 
tions and achievements of Great Britain, will give 
the strongest foundations to the new pact of alliance 
between the two peoples, and to what this pact, 
in which France and Russia join hands with us in 
the same indomitable spirit, means for the future 
of civilisation. 

The heartiest thanks of the Pro Italia Com- 
mittee and of the Editor are due to all who have 
generously helped towards the success of the enter- 
prise ; and first and foremost to Her Gracious 
Majesty Queen Elena of Italy, who has consented 
that the book should appear under Her auspices, 
just as everything in Italy that makes the horrors 
of war less unbearable and kindles a flame of love 
in the very heart of Death is now under the auspices 
of this true " Donna d'ltalia." 

Our thanks are due also to the British and 


Italian Cabinet Ministers for their significant mes- 
sages ; to the writers, artists, and musicians whose 
works appear in this book ; to the Italian Ambas- 
sador, Marchese Imperiali, and to the Italian 
Consul, Marchese Faa di Bruno, who have assisted 
us by all the means in their power ; to Count William 
de la Feld, whose association with me in the pro- 
duction of this book will remain among the dearest 
recollections of my life in this country ; to Signor 
Enrico Canziani, who collected the greatest part of 
the illustrations, and supervised the work of repro- 
duction ; to Senatore Luca Beltrami, to whose 
kindness we owe the reproduction of Leonardo's 
Sala delle Assi, which adorns the end-paper ; to 
Mr. T. Fisher Unwin, who came spontaneously to 
our help, and has brought to this noble undertaking 
all his valuable experience, his old love of Italy, and 
his just pride as a publisher ; to Mr. W. H. Dircks 
and Mr. R. Cobden-Sanderson, of Messrs. T. Fisher 
Unwin Ltd., who have greatly eased the task of the 
Editor by their eager and intelligent collaboration ; 
and last, but not least, for all sort of help and 
advice, to my friends Jim Barnes, Edward J. Dent, 
Harold Monro, Antonio Cippico, and Arundel del Re. 

Raffaello Piccoli. 




PREFACE The Editor 

INTRODUCTION . . Viscount Bryce xv 

H. H. A squith xxi 

Sir Edward Grey xxi 

MESSAGES \ Antonio Salandra xxii 

Austen Chamberlain xxiii 

Ferdinando Martini xxiv 

LONDRA Paolo Boselli i 


SOCIETY IN LONDON. . Translation by " A Friend of Italy " ii 

MY MEMORIES OF ITALY, 1851-1915 . . Frederic Harrison 21 

Evelyn Martinengo Cesaresco 28 

ITALY THE REDEEMER Newman Howard 35 



LETTER TO AN ITALIAN FRIEND Translation by Barrett Wendell 60 



MAGNA PARENS Gilbert Murray 83 

THE DEMON OF WAR . . . Sir William B. Richmond 86 


HEREAFTER W. L. Gourtney 91 

CONFESSIO AMANTIS • Louis N. Parker 92 

ITALIAN MORNING Eden Phillpotts 96 

THE CAMPAGNA Edward Hutton 107 

VARENNA /. Walter West no 

LA VERDE Robert Hichens in 

ARIETTA S. di Giacomo 120 

LITTLE SONG Paraphrase by Harold Monro 121 

THE LAND OF MUSIC Edward J. Dent 122 

GIORNO DEI MORTI D. H. Lawrence 131 

VIGILIA Grazia Deledda 132 

THE VIGIL Translation hy Adeline Lister Kay e 137 

ELEGY FOR B. H. W. (191 5) Harold Monro 142 




THE SMILING SOLDIERS . . . Magdeleine Cotta ver Mehr 145 

THE ITALIAN RED CROSS .... Andrea Galante 149 

{Translation by IVilliam de la Feld.) 

SWEETWILLIAM Lady Frazer 154 


IN THE MOUNTAINS OF ITALY . . . Estella Canziani 165 

DONNA ROSA Sir J. Rennell Rodd 171 

GONDOLAS Lord Dunsany 173 

NIGHT Wilfrid W. Gibson 176 

TRE CIME DI LAVAREDO .... John Galsworthy 177 

NOTTI VENEZIANE Arthur Symons 181 

A TUSCAN EPISODE Richard Bagot 183 


SCHOOL . Thomas Okey 194 

A VISIT TO GARIBALDI .... Jane Cobden Unwin 200 


AN HISTORICAL PARALLEL, 1350-1915 . . Horatio F. Brown 209 


{Translation by " Hardelot." ) 


ITALY Edmund G. Gardner 238 

NEGLECTED PISA Helen Zimmern 245 

THE LIGHTS OF FLORENCE .... Philip H. Wicksteed 256 

THE SONG OF ITALY Ernest Rhys 262 

OUR WARRIORS DEAD . . . . H. E. Hamilton King 272 


AVANTI. SAVOIA ! Sir Charles V. Stanford 19 

SICILIANA Sir Alexander C. Mackenzie 99 

ANIMA MIA Francesco Paolo Tosti 172 

BATHING IN THE RIVER Pietro Reggio 232 

{Edited by E. J. Dent.) 

AVE MARIA Countess Vanden Heuvel 268 





HEAD OF A NEAPOLITAN BOY John S. Sargent, R.A. Frontispiece 

IL LIDO, VENICE John Lavery, A.R.A. 40 


Comm. Aristide Sartorio {Rome) 108 
(By kind permission of the Fin€ Art Society Ltd.) 

TAORMINA, SICILY Arthur Hacker. R.A. 116 

RIVA SAN SEBASTIANO, VENICE . . Henry Woods, R.A. 174 




{Inferno, Canto XI) . . . . . . Charles Ricketts i 

SAN GIMIGNANO Andrew F. Affleck, R.E. 12 

(By kind permission of Messrs. Alfred Bell 6* Co.) 

ARCO D'ARAGONA. NAPLES .... David Donald 24 

(By kind permission of Messrs. Alfred Bellb' Co.) 

A HERO OF WORK . . . Leonardo Bistolfi (Turin) 36 

ASSISI ...... F. Cadogan Cowper, A.R.A. 50 

(By kind permission of Frederick M. Fry, Esq., C. V.O.) 

DOLORE ....*.'.. Emilio Quadrelli (Milan) 60 

FISHWIVES Augustus John 66 

MICHELANGIOLO AT WORK . . . Robert Spence. R.E. 72 


Senatore Luca Beltrami, Hon. Mem. R.I.B.A. (Milan) 78 


Robert A nning Bell, A .R.A . 84 

THE DEMON OF WAR Sir William B. Richmond, K.C.B., R.A. 86 

MIDNIGHT IN ITALY ... P. Cayley Robinson, A.R.W.S. 94 


List of Illustrations 



Sir Edward Poynter, Bart., K.C.V.O., P.R.A. lOO 

VARENNA, LAKE OF COMO . . J. Walter West, R.W.S. no 

STRADIVARIUS J. Seymour Lucas, R, A. 124 

(By kind permission of Messrs. William E. Hill 6» Son) 


UNTO THEIR DESIRED HAVEN . Sir George Frampton, R.A. 142 

THE TARGET Giuseppe Mentessi {Milan) 1 50 

ORTA, LAKE OF ORTA . . . . Graham Petrie, R.I. 158 


Estella Canziani 166 

VESPERS, ST. MARK'S, VENICE. . Charles J. Watson, R.E. 182 

RHEIMS Domingo Motta (Genoa) 188 

A SOUTHERLY GALE, POSITANO W. Russell Flint, A. R.W.S. 194 

TRENT ..... Sir Charles Archibald Nicholson, Bart. 200 


PASSPORT OF LEONARDO DA VINCI (Cesare Borgia's letter 

patent) ........... 220 


OF FLYING MACHINES .... Leonardo da Vinci 224 
From the Codex Atlanticus. 

1. Flying machine. 4. Details of the wing. 

2. Mechanism for the movement 5. Movement of a wing. 

of birds' wings. 6. Diagram of the track of a bird's 

3. Details of the wing. flight. 

A LADY OF FLORENCE . . . Byam Shaw, A. R.W.S. 226 

FRUIT PICKERS .... Charles H. Shannon, A. R.A. 232 

FLORENCE Lovat Eraser 240 

COUNTRY IN ITALY, LUNIGIANA Ths Hon. Walter James, R.E. 246 

PONTE VECCHIO, FLORENCE . . Sir Ernest George, A. R.A. 258 

VICTORY . . . . . . Edoardo Rubino (Turin) 266 

HEAD OF THE DAVID . . . Michelangiolo Buonarroti On Cover 


SFORZESCO, MILAN .... Leonardo da Vinci End-papers 



Someone has said that to every educated man Italy 
comes next in his affections to his own country : it 
is his second Fatherland. From Italy Hght first 
broke upon Europe after the long night of the 
Dark Ages. In Italy the eleventh century gave 
birth to the first universities and the first industrial 
republics. In Italy arose the first great poet of 
the modern world, the poet who gave to the mind 
of the Middle Ages its highest expression and yet 
was himself also universal, a poet speaking to and 
for all mankind by the depth of his thought and 
the splendour of his imagination, a poet who stands 
beside Homer, Virgil, and Shakespeare as an un- 
dying force in the intellectual life of our race. In 
Italy the arts first revived, and during three cen- 
turies works were produced in painting and in 
sculpture which have never since been equalled. 

We in Britain gladly acknowledge the special 
debt we owe to the poets and painters and archi- 
tects of Italy from whom our own poets, painters, 
and architects have so often drawn inspiration. 
Every young Englishman who loves history and art 
makes Italy the goal of his first pilgrimage. Milton, 
Shelley, Byron, Brovming are a few out of many of 
our famous writers who have lived in Italy or 
drawn their inspiration from it, and no small part 
of English literature has been devoted to the eluci- 



dation of Italian antiquity and the history of 
Italian art. 

Seventy years ago there was added to these old 
relations of admiration and affection which had 
united the two countries a new bond whose strength 
time has tested. It was that of sympathy with the 
Itahan people in their efforts to secure political 
unity and liberty. In those days South Italy and 
Sicily lay prostrate under a domestic tyrant, and 
the greater part of North Italy was ruled by a 
harsh and oppressive foreign Power. In those days 
the heart of all that was best in Britain went 
out to the Italian patriots who were striving to 
set their country free. Palmerston and Gladstone, 
at that time opposed to one another in home 
politics, were both earnest supporters of the 
cause of Italian freedom. I am old enough to 
remember the passionate sympathy which was felt 
by British Liberals in 1848 and 1849 with the 
risings in Milan and Florence and Bologna, with 
the magnificent defences of Venice by Manin and of 
Rome by Garibaldi. The men of the Risorgimento 
were honoured in England as a noble band, valiant 
in the field, patient and dignified in exile, always 
faithful to their lofty ideals. Mazzini had found 
refuge in London. There I knew him — a great 
man and a great teacher, whose words and very 
look were full of inspiration. Aurelio Saffi had 
obtained a post as teacher in Oxford University, 
and some of us young men, ardent lovers of Italy, 
who were studying there in i860, gathered funds 
which we entrusted to him to help to equip the 
famous Thousand whom he was then proceeding to 


join at the call of Garibaldi. Garibaldi himself was 
the favourite hero of the British masses, and I 
vividly recall the reception they gave him in 1864 
when he came to London. The enthusiasm which 
the people showed as they surged around the car- 
riage that bore him along the streets, his clear blue 
eyes roving over the crowd, was such as had never 
before been shown at the welcome of any other 
visitor, and has never been shown with equal 
fervour since. When all Italy, except Rome and 
Venice, was set free in 1859-60, when the freedom 
of Venice followed in 1866 and that of Rome in 
1870, the British people rejoiced with the Italians. 
Never since have we ceased to feel the warmest 
interest in the fortunes of the Italian kingdom and 
the sincerest respect for the gallant and loyal 
House of Savoy. Whatever changes might occur 
in the relations of the European Powers to one 
another, it was always felt that between Britain 
and Italy there could be nothing but friendship. 

Now the armies of Britain and of Italy find 
themselves engaged in the same cause ; and, while 
Italians read of the steady valour of British and 
French troops in the trenches of Northern France, 
we read of and admire the daring with which Italian 
Alpini have been scaling rocky pinnacles hitherto 
deemed inaccessible, and traversing fields of per- 
petual snow, to secure control of those passes 
whose possession by Austria threatened the safety 
of the Lombard and Venetian plains. British and 
Italian soldiers stand side by side with one another 
and with the soldiers of republican France, brothers 
in arms, comrades in a righteous cause, 

B xvii 


What is it that has brought Italy into^ this strife ? 
Partly her sympathy for, and her sense of duty to, 
those ItaUans who dwell in lands too long blighted 
by Hapsburg tyranny, lands where everything 
Italian was disparaged or persecuted. But there was 
also another cause. The heart of the Italian people 
has felt that great principles are involved in this 
war. They saw the Serbs, a small but valiant 
nation, exposed to an attack, twice before averted 
by the action of Italian statesmen, when they re- 
fused to surrender their independence to Austrian 
threats. They saw Belgium invaded because, in 
trying to preserve that neutrality which was the 
corner-stone of her national existence, she would 
not yield a passage to German troops. Still later, 
they read with indignation of the cruelties perpetrated 
by the invading army both in Belgium and in 
France. A thrill of horror ran through them when 
the news came of the drowning of eleven hundred 
innocent non-combatants on board the Lusitania, a 
crime then unheard of in war, but since many times 
repeated, and last against the Italian steamer Ancona. 
These things have made them realise that graver 
issues than even those which affect Italia Irredenta 
have come to be at stake. The interests of all man- 
kind are involved when a great State openly avows 
its contempt for treaty obligations, and makes its 
military advantage the only measure of its inter- 
national duty. 

The Italian people and the British people are 
alike in setting up for themselves higher ideals than 
those of war and conquest. The civilisation they 
prize is one directed to peaceful ends by peaceful 


means. Neither of them seeks to impose its own 
type upon other peoples. They desire a world in 
which nations, small as well as great, may live in 
friendship side by side, exchanging freely — ^and the 
more freely the better — ^the products of their in- 
dustries, each developing its own gifts in its own 
way, each willing to learn and to teach, each hold- 
ing fast to the belief that progress comes not by 
force, but by the accumulation of knowledge and 
the exercise of constructive thought. Both have 
hoped that the peace of Europe might be preserved. 
England was occupied with domestic reforms de- 
signed to benefit the masses of her people, and 
she was unwilling to believe that a great nation 
akin to her in blood, and whose many services 
to learning, literature, and science she admired, 
was meditating unprovoked assaults on her neigh- 
bours. Italy had long distrusted that unscrupulous 
dynastic selfishness and ingrained dislike of liberty 
which has characterised the house of Hapsburg ever 
since the days of the Emperor Ferdinand the Second, 
and she saw with alarm the grip which German 
finance was trying to tighten upon Italian commerce 
and industries. But Italy too had not thought of 
drawing the sword afresh. She had just emerged 
from a tedious and costly war, and desired to restore 
prosperity to the long-neglected regions of Africa 
for which she had accepted responsibility. It was 
not till the Austrian attack on Serbia and the German 
attack on Belgium had revealed the lawless and ruth- 
less spirit that animated both these empires, and had 
shown that they aimed at nothing less than a military 
domination of Europe, that England and Italy felt 



they must take up arms. Duty called them to 
defend Right against Might. All the best tradi- 
tions of their past summoned them to the struggle 
on behalf of Freedom and Justice. 

Freedom and Justice — these were the watch- 
words of the heroes of the Risorgimento, the noblest 
group of patriots that Europe had seen for two 
centuries. With these watchwords on their lips 
the soldiers of Italy go forth to battle. The spirit 
of these patriots burns in the soul of Italy, from 
the Alpine snows to the shores of that Sicily which 
Rome once saved from Carthage. It nerves the 
warrior's arm ; it consecrates the sacrifices which 
every household in the nation is making, and is 
ready to go on making till victory is achieved. The 
great Italians of the past, however divided in their 
lives, would all be united now, could they return to 
watch this conflict, more terrible than any the world 
has ever seen before. Victor Emanuel and Cavour, 
Minghetti and Manin, Garibaldi and Mazzini, would 
all approve a war waged by the land they loved 
for Freedom and Humanity. 




The admiration and affection which every 
Englishman feels for Italy have been quickened 
during the past six months in which our two 
Nations have been comrades in arms. No words 
of mine are necessary to express the value which 
we attach to this comradeship. It is a pledge of 
the community of ideas and aspirations to which 
our long and unclouded friendship bears witness, 
and from our northern island we once more salute 
our Ally, and pray that victory and glory may 
attend her arms. 


Italy takes a foremost place among the lands from 
which the world has learnt the lessons of beauty 
and the arts of civilisation. In casting her sword 
into the scales she has proved true to herself and 
to her glorious traditions, and she renders surer 
and swifter the triumph of freedom, justice, and 
humanity, for which the peoples of the British 
Empire and their Allies are fighting. 

E. Grey. 



C^^^-^ a^^^ .^^.^.gri.^^.^^?---^ 

• cv^ C.^ir~y'^^-^^<.^<''i^ 






Since to our generation Fate has assigned the 
tremendous and sublime task of accompHshing the 
ideal of a great Italy, which the heroes of the Rtsor- 
gimento could not see achieved, let us accept this 
task with unconquerable resolution, and be prepared 
to give to our Mother Country the whole of ourselves 
— ^what we are, and what we have. 

A. Salandra. 

No nation followed with greater sympathy the 
struggle of Italy for unity and freedom than did 
the English people. Your heroes were our heroes, 
and we recognised in their work kindred thoughts 
and aims. Every Englishman must rejoice that at 
this hour, when the liberty of Europe is at stake, 
and the binding obligations both of international 
treaties and the moral law are trampled under foot 
by a military and despotic Government, Italy and 
England stand united in the cause of freedom and 
of law. 

Austen Chamberlain. 



Nella storia del nostro risorgimento politico ora 
il nome di qualche Inglese si ricorda, ora qualche 
benefizio che dalla Inghilterra ci venne. Foscolo, 
primo ad aprire in tempi di servitu la desolata via 
degli esigli, trova a Londra decorosi sostegni alle 
necessita della vita e conforto di illustre amicizie ; 
Mazzini, ne' giorni dell' apostolato preparatore, 
affetti ospitali che eromperanno piu tardi in fervore 
di entusiasmi salutando in Garibaldi I'eroe della 

Col sospiro della speranza invocano il nostro 
rinnovamento civile i poeti : dalle finestre di Casa 
Guidi vola il canto di Elisabetta Brov^rning, mentre 
Roberto afferma impresso nel proprio cuore con 
indelebili cifre il nome d'ltalia : Italia ! terra 
onde balzo piti terribile e aleggio verso piu sublimi 
altezze il genio di Shelley, e che in un silenzioso 
angolo di Roma accolse e custodi le membra giovi- 
nette di Keats. 

Auguri e voti : ajuteranno a tradurli in fausta 
realta gli uomini di stato : Palmerston, Russell, 
Gladstone ; e, minore nella fama non nello zelo 
cordiale. Sir James Hudson, Tamico e in giorni 
solenni il coUaboratore di Camillo Cavour. 

Questi vincoli sacri uniscono nelle pagine della 
storia gia scritta i due popoli ; la pagina nuova 
dira le battaglie insieme combattute per la civilta e 
la liberta del mondo e le comuni ardue ma sicure 


Roma, ottobre 19 15. 




Many a time in the history of our political 
resurrection an English name occurs, a service 
rendered to us by England is recorded. Foscolo, 
who first opened in the days of bondage the desolate 
path of exile, finds in London honourable means of 
subsistence and the comfort of distinguished friend- 
ships. Mazzini, the apostle, in the days of pre- 
paration, encounters love and hospitality that will 
later develop into the fervid enthusiasm which 
hailed in Garibaldi the hero of our redemption. 

With yearnings of hope the poets invoke our 
civic renovation ; the song of Elizabeth Browning 
rises from the windows of Casa Guidiy while 
Robert Browning asserts that the name of Italy 
is indelibly engraved in his heart : Italy, the land 
from which Shelley's genius rose more powerfully 
soaring towards loftier regions, and which received 
and treasured up in a silent corner of Rome the 
youthful remains of Keats. 

Such the omens and wishes that were later to 
be happily fulfilled with the help of statesmen like 
Palmerston, Russell, Gladstone, and of one who, 
though not their equal in fame, nevertheless emu- 
lated them in cordiality and zeal : Sir James Hudson, 
the friend and, in momentous days, the coadjutor 
of Cavour. 

Those sacred ties unite our two peoples in the 
pages of history which have already been written : 
the new page will tell of the battles fought side by 
side for the freedom and civilisation of the world, 
and of the arduous but unfailing common victories. 


Rome, October 19 15. 




{Ivferno, Canto XI) 

Charles Ricketts 



[The author of this essay, His Excellency Paolo Boselliy 
is the President of the '' Societa Dante Alighieri,'' an associa- 
tion for the defence and propagation of the Italian language, 
especially among the Italians outside the frontiers of Italy, — 
The Editor.] 

Reco fervidamente il bacio della Dante Alighieri al 
volume che serra nelle sue pagine il cuore di due 
popoli liberi e anelanti ad ogni gloria della civilta. 

La Dante ansiosamente, senza tregua, fidente 
sempre, sempre vigile e pronta, precorse questo 
giorno di redenzione italica, che e giorno di al- 
leanza fra i paesi nostri. 

Altri vacillavano e si smarrivano, noi perseve- 
rammo. Cosl si tenne accesa la lampada che a 
Ravenna risplende. Cosl vinse la difesa di quella 
lingua nostra che ebbe in Inghilterra, meglio che 
fra qualsivoglia altra gente di Europa, dotti cultori 
e graziose alunne. 

Lo disse, il 20 Novembre i860, Giuseppe Gari- 
baldi alle donne inglesi : *' Oh Albione ! nelle 
vicissitudini inseparabili dalla razza umana, Tltalia 
ti considerera come sorella." Questa parentela non 
e stretta ne sciolta dall* opera dei Governi : dessa 


The Book of Italy 

e tale che si alimenta di idealita, awince le anime, 
precede immutabile come il genio delle Nazioni. 

Fu Dante in Inghilterra ? Peregrino egli da 
Parigi fra i Britanni, come Giovanni Boccaccio 
narrava ? Guglielmo Gladstone, negli ultimi tempi 
ancora della sua vita, tornava ad asseverarlo con 
appassionata dottrina. Non si adducono certe le 
prove. Ma io spontaneamente rawiso Dante in 
Oxford a ricercarvi le memorie di Ruggero Bacone, 
pochi anni innanzi scomparso dopo i lunghi pati- 
menti sofFerti per la liberta della ragione umana : 
Ruggero Bacone diede al primo periodo del Medio 
Evo grande luce di scienza indagatrice ed ardita : 
TAlighieri tutto il Medio Evo sublimemente illu- 
mino, rispecchio e chiuse. 

Nel nome di Dante I'ltalia raggiunge ora strenua- 
mente " i termini suoi," e, piii che mai, sorella 
deir Inghilterra, insieme con essa combatte e mira 
air awenire. 

Riusci lo Shakespeare a rawivare di cosi italiani 
colori le cronache nostre, penetro il Macaulay cosi 
acutamente nel secolo, nel pensiero, nel voto 
nazionale di Macchiavelli, perche e retaggio della 
gente britanna e della gente italiana una favilla di 
comune ideality. 

Si additano mai agli alunni di codeste Scuole 
della Dante, che tanto giovano per Tintimita spiri- 
tuale dei due popoli, le case dove Ugo Foscolo, ora 
solitario sconsolato e sdegnoso, ora incauto nelle 
consuetudini della vita, penso, scrisse, vaticino, 
slUuse e spero ? In codeste case egli diede mente 
e cuore al poema immortale, se pure troppo 
immaginosamente lo interpreto. Da codeste case 


Le Scuole della Dante Alighieri 

uscirono le folgori della sua eloquenza, la verita 
dei suoi ammonimenti, le invocazioni ispiratrici 
per la redenzione dell' Italia, sospiro dell' anima 
sua, che, fino dalla prima giovinezza, s'era fatta 
tutta italiana nelle scuole italianissime della Dal- 

Conducete, conducete i fanciuUi e le fanciuUe 
delle nostre Scuole per le vie di codesta Cittk ed 
essi apprendano come in Londra, perfino nei 
vaganti e fortuiti convegni, si formo il primo ordito 
deir Italia nuova. 

In Londra Giuseppe Mazzini, con genio italiano 
e con genio inglese, mirabilmente uso la mente e la 
penna, e per I'ltalia una invincibilmente opero, 
allietato dalla simpatia delle gentili amiche e degli 
incliti lettori, suffragato dal consenso di uomini 
eminenti, di uomini pari a quel Stansfeld che getto 
il potere anziche tradire I'amicizia dell' esule italiano. 

Narrate ai nostri fanciulli e alle fanciuUe nostre 
come I'ospitalita inglese fu gloriosa al Panizzi. 
Rammemorate Francesco Crispi che, traendo la 
vita a frusto a frusto, raccoglieva le testimonianze 
storiche e politiche per la rivendicazione italiana 
e pensava le audacie per unificare la patria, e della 
patria unificata antivedeva le prossime vittorie e le 
lontane, suggellando nei propositi suoi la perpetua 
amista, che egli in ogni tempo affermo, tra Londra 
e Roma. 

Fate risuonare nelle nostre Scuole i canti di 
Gabriele Rossetti e, fra la commozione vibrante 
degli alunni, rievocate la memoria di Colei che fu 
consorte dell' ammiraglio Graham Moore, e raccolse 
a salvamento il poeta unitario del 1821, scampan- 

c 3 

The Book of Italy 

dolo dalla triste sorte che in Napoli gli sovrastava : 
onde costi egli conforto misticamente la sua musa 
ed ebbe cattedra nel CoUegio del Re e frequenza ed 
applausi di ascoltatori : e fantasie dantesche : e 
poi generazioni celebri nei vagheggiamenti del 

Giovanni RufEni, intanto, propagava la lingua 
italiana fra le alunne leggiadre e idealizzava il 
Dottor Antonio. 

Ma nella storia ideale dei due popoli sorge 
eccelsa la figura di Vittorio Alfieri ; di lui che 
ritempro con rinnovato stampo Tanima italiana, di 
lui donde scaturirono i nuovi, generosi ardimenti : 
onorato negli insigni marmi di Santa Croce dalla 
Donna inglese " degnamente amata." 

Tutta Europa aveva trascorsa Vittorio Alfieri 
come forsennato corridore, nulla incontrando che 
scuotesse il suo intelletto, nulla che svegliasse in lui 
i propositi onde poi tanto si elevo. Pervenne Vittorio 
Alfieri in Inghilterra ; *Me doti vere ed uniche di 
codesto fortunato e libero paese gli rapirono Tanimo 
a bella prima," e senti " gli effetti divini " dei suoi 
ordinamenti, della sua pubblica felicita ; e allora 
intese la vocazione che lo fece immortale e che 
formo gli italiani del Risorgimento. 

Se mi ricercaste di consiglio intorno ai ritratti 
da porsi nelle vostre Scuole, io vi esorterei ad 
appendere, prossimi a Dante, Vittorio Alfieri e 
Guglielmo Gladstone e, seguitando. Lord Byron e 
Giuseppe Mazzini. 

Politicamente I'anima inglese fu sempre propizia 
alia risurrezione italiana, anche allora quando si 
oscurava il favore della Reggia e del Governo. 


Le Scuole della Dante Alighieri 

Forse dopo la caduta di Napoleone gli italiani 
fallirono non assecondando gli eccitamenti inglesi. 
Ma vero e che nel Congresso di Vienna Lord 
Castlereagh si adopero pertinacemente ad incatenare 
r Italia nella piu dura e perversa soggezione sotto il 
dominio deir Austria. Prevalse allora la politica 
estremamente superba ed acerba che Lord Rosebery 
cosl fieramente colpi ragionando di Napoleone. 
Contro quella politica non indugio a levarsi Telo- 
quenza di Giorgio Canning : nella moderna In- 
ghilterra i vieti pregiudizi presto trascorrono e il 
grido della liberta sempre si avanza dominatore. 

Ci opprimeva la politica del Congresso di Vienna ; 
ma poco stando Lord Byron poetava sfolgorante e 
innamorato in Italia : adoperava la propria arte a 
vantaggio delle aspirazioni italiane ; scuoteva la 
fiamma onde divampo la letteratura del Guerrazzi 
a suscitare nelle nuove generazioni italiane un 
impetuoso, inestinguibile, mirabile ardore, e il 
canto del giovine Aroldo, rivolto all' Italia, raggiante 
di italiano entusiasmo, prorompeva dall' animo del 

Di poi il genio dello Shelley predilesse egli pure 
la Musa dell' italianita. 

Ma io dico che, accanto all' immagine di 
Dante, i nostri alunni debbono scorgere quella di 
Guglielmo Gladstone. Giova trasportarli ai cieli 
della Divina Commedia ? Una stupenda scrittura 
di Guglielmo Gladstone porge ad essi le penne. 
Piace che si innoltrino dessi nel pensiero e nelle 
opere di Giacomo Leopardi ? Una preclara scrit- 
tura di Guglielmo Gladstone vale ad erudirli. Deve 
diffondersi nelle aule della Dante la fama degli 


T'he Book of Italy 

scrittori che meglio illustrarono ai tempi nostri 
ritalia ? Quante pagine di Guglielmo Gladstone 
si addicono all' uopo luminosamente ! 

E noi che siamo vindici e propagatori della 
lingua italiana celebriamo nel Gladstone il maestro 
che meravigliosamente ne seppe ogni bellezza ed 
efficacemente ne voile allargare il culto costl, dove 
a lui quella lingua nostra gia in tanto fiore allorche 
Giuseppe Baretti la introduceva schietta, sciolta, 
arguta nelle aule dell' Accademia di Londra, pareva 
che dalla seconda meta del secolo scorso in poi 
volgesse a declinazione. 

Per verita il Gladstone e uno dei principi della 
Societa nostra, della Dante Alighieri. Annoveria- 
molo in essa con singolare riverenza. 

Ma pill e piii altri ricordi di Guglielmo Gladstone 
debbono sempre ravvivarsi e glorificarsi. Egli ab- 
batte nella coscienza del mondo civile Tempia 
tirannide di Napoli ; egli spezzo le catene di Carlo 
Poerio, di Michele Pironti, di Luigi Settembrini, di 
Sigismondo Castromediano, dei patriotti aspramente 
tormentati nelle galere borboniche ; egli nel 1859 
oppose a viso aperto la vera anima inglese contro 
la politica che piegavasi verso TAustria e incuoro, 
nel memorabile coUoquio di Torino, il Conte di 
Cavour ; egli nei primi eventi del Regno d 'Italia 
si profferse fautore dei nostri diritti e campione delle 
opere nostre ; egli voile ardentemente I'ltalia una 
e sovrana in Roma e tale in Roma splendidamente 
la esalto : e fino a tanto che i miracoli dell' elo- 
quenza avranno lustro, emergeranno i discorsi che 
per ritalia egli pronunzi6 (dal 1862 al 1864) ^^ 
quella aula sacra alia liberta, dove le fortune d 'Italia 

Le Scuole della Dante Alighieri 

ebbero auspici insigni, nella nobile schiera degli 
amici nostri, tratto tratto, il Palmerston, e, costante- 
mente, John Russell, Tamico nostro efficace, il 
consorte della nostra salda ed alacre arnica. 

L'epopea popolare del nostro risorgimento si 
impersona in Giuseppe Garibaldi. Rappresentiamo, 
eleviamo nelle scuole della Dante in Londra I'eroe 
che segnalo ** la condotta cavalleresca deir Inghil- 
terra in un momento di prova e di pericolo.*' 

A me talenterebbe risuscitare in un quadro i 
giorni del 1864, quando Garibaldi percorse, come in 
trionfo, le vie affollate della magnifica Citta, e tante, 
tante migliaia d'inglesi si accalcarono, intorno a lui, 
nel Palazzo di Cristallo, ad afFrettare la liberazione 
di Venezia e di Roma, e un entusiasmo incom- 
parabile inebrio i cuori che si votavano a lui, e dal 
Principe di Galles agli affaticati lavoratori tutti 
animo una festa mai piu veduta, che fu festa 
memorabilmente italiana. 

Ma un altro quadro io vorrei nelle Scuole della 
Dante in Londra. Effigiamo Garibaldi in mezzo ad 
una corona di donne inglesi, di quelle donne che 
egli saluto, ** coUaboratrici nelle opere di reden- 
zione,'' di quelle donne " che lo seguirono ispira- 
trici da Marsala al Volturno." Ivi si avanzino le 
Duchesse di Sutherland e la cristianissima gli porga 
ancora, con favella di persuasione, il nuovo testa- 
mento ; e Emma Roberts tenga Tuna mano sul 
cuore che non muto e dispieghi nell' altra le lettere 
ammonitrici nelle quali il giudizio sagace emulava 
la aperta sincerita ; e Maria Seely rawivi le rimem- 
branze dell' ospitalita che nell' isola di Wight 
delizi6 Tintrepido duce ; e sia con esse Carolina 


T'he Book of Italy 

Phillipson ; e non manchi, no, Giulia Salis Schwabe 
che fu dalla sua prima giovinezza tutta inglese e 
manchesteriana ; ella, la risanatrice del ferito al 
Varignano, la propiziatrice di Caprera ; ella, che 
amo ritalia nell' intimita di Riccardo Cobden, il 
messaggiero onde all' alba del nostro risorgimento 
si accordarono le speranze italiane nell' Italia divisa, 
il propagatore delle idee onde tanta esca provenne 
air opera riformatrice dell' amico suo, il Conte di 
Cavour : ella, la Giulia Salis Schwabe, che lesse 
amorosamente nell' anima napoletana e dono — a 
benefizio di Napoli e in esempio all' Italia — I'Asilo 
froebeliano, testimonio della sua mente iniziatrice, 
pegno della sua missione educatrice. 

Ma sento lo sprone che dal passato mi chiama 
air awenire. Sempre all' avvenire mirino le Scuole 
della Dante. La lingua che difendemmo nella 
Italia irredenta, I'ltalia tutta redenta difendera 
dovunque siano italiani ospiti fortunati o peregrini 
faticanti fuori della patria. Fatela risuonare la 
lingua nostra, con nobili accenti e con propositi 
generosi, in codesto paese dove tutto cio che e 
nobile e generoso rifulge. 

Avanti, avanti ! e la divisa dell' Italia nuova nel 
corso delle idee, nei prodigi del lavoro, nella ele- 
vazione dei lavoratori. 

Tutto cio che circonda in Inghilterra i figli 
nostri, e promessa di avanzamento civile. 

Carlo Cattaneo afFermo che " in Inghilterra il 
progresso dai tempi di Cesare ai nostri e moto 
accelerato con legge costante, tanto nelle cose 
materiali, quanto nelle morali." 

In Inghilterra primamente si ando divulgando 

Le Scuole della Dante Alighieri 

a grado a grado il misterio del potere che altrove, 
per pill secoli, rimase Tarcano dei pochi imperanti 
e si formo costl quel reggimento politico esemplare 
che sostituiva agli sbalzi delle rivoluzioni violente le 
durevoli conquiste delle evoluzioni riformatrici. 

La riforma del 1832 inauguro Tera delle estese 
partecipazioni popolari alia sovranita politica. II 
libero scambio non solamente opero come rinno- 
vazione economica e sociale, ma si svolse eziandio 
come irradiazione di fede liberale e di senno fraterno 
fra tutte le genti. 

II classicismo della liberta si connaturo incredibil- 
mente coUe piu ardite ricostituzioni sociali. Dove 
Tordinamento della proprieta piu si ammantava di 
privilegi, e piu oggi si trasforma beneficamente. 

Con simile spirito liberale e progressivo mosse 
gli andamenti suoi quel Piemonte, italico pro- 
pugnatore, che il Conte Derby, nel 1859, anche in 
mezzo alle suggestioni austriache, salutava **glorioso." 
Camillo Cavour, che a quel Piemonte e all' ItaUa 
risorta segno le vie, dichiarava nel Parlamento : 
" Dair Inghilterra ho attinto la maggior parte delle 
cognizioni politiche che mi hanno guidato ; venero 
ringhilterra come la rocca dove la liberta ha trovato 
e potrebbe ancora trovare rifugio inespugnabile ; 
come ministro e come scrittore ho sempre prediletta 
Talleanza coll' Inghilterra " (9 febbraio 1859). 

Gia Lord Clarendon aveva detto, nell' asserire 
I'alleanza col Piemonte per la guerra della Crimea : 
" Tutto cio che vale a legare piu strettamente i due 
paesi e accolto in Inghilterra come un sentimento 
che si approssima all' entusiasmo." 

La presente alleanza condurrk I'lnghilterra e 


T'he Book of Italy 

ritalia ad instaurare concordemente un novello 
ordine tra le Nazioni, mentre piglieranno atteggia- 
menti nuovi le finanze degli Stati, le legislazioni 
economiche e sociali, i rannodamenti commerciali. 

Dalla guerra moderna il popolo inglese, " il 
cui suolo non fu mai calpestato da eserciti nemici," 
e tratto piu addentro nelle vicende del consorzio 

L'Inghilterra insegno nel mondo delle colonic 
quel reggimento liberale, la cui sapienza appieno si 
manifesta oggidi che le colonic inglesi partecipano 
unanimi e gagliarde ai cimenti per la madre patria. 

Sara I'lnghilterra, ne abbiamo altissima fede, 
nel mondo delle Nazioni indipendenti, sostenitrice 
potente del principio di nazionalita. Obliandolo 
ancora, male si ricomporrebbero gli Stati : al di fuori 
di esso non fu mai giusta alcuna pace, ne, al di fuori 
di esso, pace alcuna sarebbe duratura. 

L'awenire deve recare, a gloria della civilta, a 
benefizio dell' umanita, la federazione delle libere 
Nazioni. II pensiero popolare, che sale e vince, 
la acclama e la otterra. 

Ne sia questa formidabile guerra la preparazione 
feconda. II trionfo del principio di nazionalita, la 
federazione delle libere Nazioni invocarono, pre- 
cursori italici ed esuli suUa terra inglese, Giuseppe 
Mazzini e Francesco Crispi. 

La loro idea non si spegne, la loro voce non tace 
fra la gente britanna e fra la gente italiana. 

Paolo Boselli. 

Roma, 20 settembre 191 5. 



It is with the warmest sympathy that in the name 
of the ** Dante AHghieri " Society I hail this volume, 
which holds in its pages the heart of two free peoples, 
both equally fervent in their love of all the ideals 
of civilisation. 

The " Dante AHghieri," ever confident, ever 
vigilant and in arms, eagerly anticipated this day 
of Italian redemption, this day of alliance between 
our two countries. 

Others may have wavered or gone astray, but 
we persevered. We thus kept burning the light 
that shines forth from Ravenna, and succeeded in 
upholding our language in the unredeemed lands of 
Italy, that language which numbers in England, 
more than in any other country in Europe, so many 
proficient scholars and ardent lovers. 

Garibaldi, addressing the women of England 
in November i860, said : " O Britain, in all the 
vicissitudes inherent to the human race, Italy will 
look upon thee as her sister ! " Such a natural 
bond Governments have no power either to tighten 
or loosen ; it is rooted in ideals, it links together 
the very souls of nations, it perpetuates itself im- 

Was Dante ever in England ? Did he ever 
travel there from Paris, as we read in Boccaccio ? 


T>6^ Book of Italy 

W. E. Gladstone, in the last days of his life, repeated 
the contention, adding to it the enthusiastic support 
of his deep learning. But there is no real evidence 
to prove it. However, I love to figure to myself 
Dante at Oxford in search of the relics of Roger 
Bacon, who only a few years earlier had died of his 
prolonged sufferings for the freedom of the human 
intellect. Roger Bacon gave to the first period of 
the Middle Ages the great light of his bold scientific 
investigations ; Dante illuminated, mirrored, and 
enclosed in his sublime poem the whole of the 
Middle Ages. 

In the name of Dante, Italy is liow striving for 
her own natural boundaries, *' i termini suoi," and, 
England's sister now more than ever, she fights 
with her, aiming at the future. 

If Shakespeare succeeded in reproducing our 
chronicles with colours so truly Italian, if Macaulay 
was able to penetrate so thoroughly the times, the 
mind, the national aspirations of Machiavelli, the 
reason is to be found in the genius of ideality, which 
is the common inheritance of the British and Italian 

Are the pupils of the " Dante Alighieri " schools 
in London, which render such good service in 
fostering the spiritual intimacy between the two 
nations — are these pupils ever shown the houses in 
which Foscolo, at times a disconsolate, scornful 
voluntary recluse, at times reckless and extravagant, 
meditated, wrote, prophesied, dreamt, and hoped ? 
It was there he gave his soul and heart to the study 
of the Divine Comedy^ in the interpretation of 
which he may perhaps sometimes have given way 



Andrew F. Affleck, R.E. 
{By kind permission of Messrs. James Connell d^ Sons) 

Schools of the ^^ Dante AlighierP'^ 

to his fiery imagination. There, too, he composed 
his inspiring exhortations for the redemption of 
Italy, that most cherished of the aspirations of his 
soul from his earliest youth. May the pupils of 
our schools in their rambles through the great 
British metropolis also learn that in London was 
laid the first warp of the renovation of Italy. For 
it was in London that Mazzini, whose genius em- 
bodied the highest characteristics of the English 
and Italian minds, relentlessly worked for the attain- 
ment of his ideal of a unified Italy, comforted by the 
sympathy of devoted friends and followers, and 
encouraged by the support of eminent statesmen 
such as Mr. Stansfeld, who resigned his seat in 
the Cabinet rather than betray the friendship of 
the Italian exile. 

May, again, the children in our schools learn 
how Sir Anthony Panizzi owed his fame to British 
hospitality, and how Crispi, the constant promoter 
of Anglo-Italian friendship, while going through the 
hardships of banishment, collected in England the 
historical and political evidence for the vindication 
of the rights of Italy, at the same time constantly 
preparing for resolute action of which he foresaw 
the future victories. Again, may they learn how 
Rossetti, who in 1821 had been saved from death in 
Naples through the devotion of an EngHshwoman, 
found in London the necessary leisure for the 
continuation of his poetical and critical pursuits, 
and became the founder of a family of English poets 
and artists ; finally, how Giovanni Ruffini helped to 
spread the knowledge of Italian and wrote his 
famous Dottor Antonio. 


The Book of Italy 

But the most important character in the history 
of the spiritual relations of the two countries is that 
of Vittorio Alfieri, who, after having aimlessly 
wandered over the whole of Europe, went to England, 
where he was " immediately struck by the genuine 
and rare qualities of that free and happy country." 
His admiration for her public institutions was the 
main source of those elevated doctrines which 
contributed so much to form the political conscience 
of the Italians of the Risorgimento. 

If I were asked what portraits should adorn the 
walls of the " Dante Alighieri '* schools, I would 
strongly advise, next to Dante's, those of Vittorio 
Alfieri, Lord Byron, and then Gladstone and Maz- 
zini. At a time when Italy was more than ever 
politically oppressed, in consequence of the decisions 
of the Congress of Vienna, Lord Byron, inspired by 
his ardent love for our country, kindled the flame 
which, through the writings of his devotee, F. D. 
Guerrazzi, contributed so much to raise and main- 
tain the enthusiasm of the new Italian generations. 
The canto of Childe Harold consecrated to Italy is 
the most vivid document of the Italian feelings of 
the English poet, feelings shared by the genius of 
his contemporary P. B. Shelley. 

And in addition to the portrait of Dante, I should 
like to set before the eyes of our pupils the image 
of William Ewart Gladstone. Nothing could better 
acquaint them with the soaring genius of the Divine 
Poet, or with the mind and works of Leopardi, or 
with the most eminent modern writers on Italy, 
than some of Gladstone's essays. We whose aim 
it is to uphold and diffuse the Italian tongue, we 



Schools of the ^^ Dante Alighieri 

honour in Gladstone the scholar marvellously versed 
in all its beauties, who successfully spread the study 
of our language in England, where since the middle 
of the nineteenth century he seemed to think it was 
neglected. His name should therefore be prominent 
in our Society. 

But many other considerations should induce 
us to revive and exalt the memory of Gladstone. 
In a scathing indictment he denounced to the 
civilised world the iniquitous tyranny of the Bour- 
bons, tearing thus asunder the chains that tortured 
Poerio and other patriots in the dungeons of Naples. 
He openly opposed the Austrian leanings of the 
British Cabinet in 1859, and encouraged Count 
Cavour in the memorable interview at Turin. He 
was the champion of our rights and the defender 
of our achievements during the first) years of the 
kingdom of Italy, and ardently wished a united 
Italy, her own mistress in Rome. His speeches in 
defence of Italy in the years 1862-64, uttered in that 
temple of Liberty in which the cause of our country 
had such eminent advocates as Lord Palmerston, 
and our still more valuable friend Lord John 
Russell, the husband of our staunch and active 
sympathiser, will live as long as miracles wrought 
by sheer eloquence are held in honour. 

Garibaldi, in our people's mind, is the personifica- 
tion of the epic of the Risorgimento, Let us then 
depict in our schools in London the hero who drew 
attention to ** the chivalrous action of England in a 
moment of diflSculty and peril." I should also love 
to revive in a picture the days of 1864, when Gari- 
baldi drove in triumph through the crowded streets 


The Book of Italy 

of London, and when thousands and thousands of 
British, thronging round him, from the Prince of 
Wales down to the humblest workman, enthusiastic- 
ally hailed the future liberator of Venice and Rome. 

But there is still another picture which I should 
like to see there. Garibaldi surrounded by the 
women of England, those women whom he greeted 
as ** his associates in the work of redemption," and 
who '* followed and inspired him from Marsala to 
the Volturno " : the Duchess of Sutherland present- 
ing him with the New Testament, Emma Roberts, 
Mary Seely, his hostess in the Isle of Wight, Caroline 
Phillipson, and last, not least, Julia Salis Schwabe, 
an Englishwoman from her earliest youth, who 
nursed his wounds at the fort of Varignano and 
comforted him at Caprera. This last one was the 
friend of Richard Cobden, he himself a lover of 
Italy, whose tenets were adopted by Cavour in his 
work of reform. 

But the memories of the past induce me to turn 
my eyes to the future. May the '* Dante Alighieri " 
Schools always look to the future. The language we 
upheld in unredeemed Italy may our fully redeemed 
country always diffuse wherever Italians are to be 
found, and may this language ever convey noble 
and generous thoughts to that country where all 
that is noble and generous is specially revered. 

Forward ! ever forward ! Such is the motto of 
New Italy, in its thoughts, in its deeds, in its social 
reforms. All that surrounds our children in Eng- 
land is a guarantee of civilisation and progress. 
Cattaneo said : ** In England progress is since 
Caesar's time the constant law in moral as well as in 

Schools of the ^^ Dante A lighter i'^'' 

material things." In England the mystery of power, 
which in other countries remained for many cen- 
turies the secret of the dominating few, belonged 
from the earliest times to the people, giving rise to 
that model of political institutions which substituted 
violence and revolution with the lasting conquests 
of evolution and reform. The Reform Bill in 1832 
inaugurated the era of ampler participation by the 
people in political power. Free trade not only 
wrought an economical and social renovation, but 
developed into a manifestation of faith in liberty 
and mutual love among all peoples. The classical 
idea of freedom blended wonderfully with the 
boldest social innovations, and it was thus possible 
for the very country where landed property was 
more than elsewhere effectively protected by pri- 
vilege, to reform its institutions with a view of 
extending their benefits to the community at large. 
Similar to England in the spirit of freedom and 
progress was the kingdom of Piedmont, that citadel 
of Italian Unity to which Lord Derby in 1859, 
in spite of Austria's blandishments, applied the 
epithet of '' glorious." Cavour, who was the lead- 
ing spirit both of Piedmont and of New Italy in the 
decisive years of the RisorgtmentOy declared in Par- 
liament : " From England I have derived the 
greatest part of that political knowledge which has 
always guided me ; I worship England as the 
stronghold where freedom has found, and will always 
find, an impregnable refuge ; as minister and poli- 
tical writer I have always cherished an alliance with 
England " (Feb. 9, 1859). And Lord Clarendon 
had already said, when announcing the alliance with 


T'he Book of Italy 

Piedmont for the Crimean War : ** All that contri- 
butes to bind our countries more closely, England 
welcomes with a feeling akin to enthusiasm." 

The present alliance will enable England and 
Italy to establish a new order among nations and 
to give novel features to their finances, their econo- 
mical and social legislation, and their commercial 
intercourse. At the same time this war will bring 
the people of England, whose soil has never been 
trampled upon by an armed foe, into closer touch 
with the vicissitudes of international life. 

England has taught the world the free govern- 
ment of colonies, and the wisdom of her system is 
now proved by the unanimous and gallant response 
of all the Overseas Dominions to the call of the 
Mother Country. 

And England will always be, we have no doubt, 
amongst the independent nations of the world, the 
great upholder of the principle of nationality. If 
that principle were again ignored, no peace could be 
lasting. The future must bring to us for the glory 
of civilisation, and for the benefit of humanity, the 
Federation of Free Nations. Such is the will of all 
peoples, and they will make it prevail. 

May this formidable war engender the triumph 
of the principle of nationality and the federation of 
free nations. Two Italian precursors, both exiles 
on British soil, Mazzini and Crispi, invoked those 
principles, and their idea will not die ; the echo of 
their voices will ever ring in British and Italian hearts. 

Rome, September 20, 1915. PaOLO BoSELLI. 

Translated by " A Friend oj Italy:' 


G. Carducci. 

Charles V. Stanford 

Andante maesicso. 










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The Book of Italy 

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Ewiva V.E.R.D.I. 



In these days of Italy's great part in the World- War, 
I often recur in thought to my memories of the 
soldiers and patriots whom I saw, heard, and talked 
with in the Risorgimento ; during the war and the 
agitations of 1859-60-61 ; when Italy, after fifty years 
of battles, struggles, and of martyrdom, was at last 
made — or let us say to-day — very nearly made. It 
is fifty-five years ago, but I remember, as if it were 
yesterday, Vittorio Emanuele II, Ricasoli, Farini, 
Minghetti, Carlo Poerio, Marchese Pepoli, Mamiani, 
and the Provisional Governments of the Duchies. 
I had correspondence with Count Cavour, I had 
long conversations with Mazzini, I saw Garibaldi 
in his red shirt at the head of his troop ; I have 
heard him address a great meeting ; and I was with 
him when widows brought their fatherless children 
for him to bless them, which he did as simply and 
as devoutly as any saint might have done. 

As my thoughts go back over more than half a 
century to my own personal intercourse with the 
immortal Makers of Italy, I often ask myself to-day 
what would be the feelings, the hopes, and the 
counsels of these unforgotten patriots, martyrs, and 
heroes. My memories of them, how they looked, 
how they spoke, and how their inspirations worked 
may interest and hearten their successors to-day. 
I was bred up Italianissimo, In 1850, whilst a 


The Book of Italy 

student at Oxford, I read Dante with Count Aurelio 
Saffi of Forli, who, with Mazzini, was one of the 
Triumvirs in the defence of Rome in 1849. Saffi 
introduced me to Mazzini in London, Campanella 
of Milan, Pianciani and other soldiers and exiled 
comrades. I subscribed to a Republican journal ; 
and indeed sixty-five years ago I was as much in 
touch with the nationalist movement as if it were 
my own fatherland. 

In 1 85 1 I first passed under the ineffable radi- 
ance of the sky of Italy, I heard the native tongue 
of the people at home. In 1853 I travelled to 
Florence, where I had friends and introductions in 
the time of the Grand Duke and met the poet 
Browning, then residing in the city. When war 
broke out in 1859, I shared the enthusiasm of the 
Brownings ; and after sundry appeals to the English 
Press, I resolved to see the work myself, and, armed 
with various introductions from the Liberal Press 
and Government of the day, I spent the autumn of 
1859 in Turin, Genoa, Leghorn, Florence and 
Tuscany, Romagna, Bologna, Modena, Parma and 

In each centre I was properly accredited to the 
provisional rulers, but I had also private and nation- 
alist introductions ; and having a perfectly free 
hand, I sent oflF my impressions to several English 
journals. In 1865 I spent the autumn in Rome in 
the days of Pio Nono and the French occupation, 
and I had various acquaintances in more than one 
party. In scores of later travels I have visited every 
part of Italy, from the Alpine passes to Brindisi and 
Syracuse. And I have had the advantage of know- 

^y Memories of Italy ^ 1851-1915 

ing representative men of almost every school, or 
class, or profession in the peninsula. For sixty- 
five years I have been in correspondence or in 
intercourse with journalists, politicians, men of 
letters, and patriots of Italy. And I hold it import- 
ant — such being the versatility and originality of 
the Italian genius — that to know Italy truly, one 
must be in touch with all the various parties, ele- 
ments, ideas, couches sociales of that most complex 
nationality — ^must avoid all tendency to what is 
narrow, one-sided, or exclusive. 

Now, I desire to bear witness that, in the Revival 
and Unity of Italy from 1 849-1 870 the hearts of 
liberal Englishmen were as deeply stirred in sym- 
pathy with the cause as if it had been their own 
country and future at stake. Only those behind 
the scenes ever knew how much Palmerston, Rus- 
sell, Sir James Hudson, and Gladstone supported 
Cavour and Rattazzi. Only those in touch with the 
revolutionary enthusiasts knew the passionate ad- 
miration of unofficial, unorthodox, and adventurous 
EngHshmen for Garibaldi, Mazzini, even for Orsini. 
Italy, under the consummate audacity of Cavour, 
had been our ally with France in the Crimea. But 
quite apart from that, and with our growing sus- 
picion of the third Napoleon, the heart of true and 
living England was stirred by the character of 
Victor Emanuel II, of his generals and statesmen, 
by Cavour, La Marmora, d'Azeglio, Bixio, Cialdini, 
as well as by that of Garibaldi, Mazzini, and the 
hot-heads of La Giovane Italia, 

Nothing like it has been known in our insular 
and cold-blooded country since the wave of enthu- 


T'he Book of Italy 

siasm for the French uprising of 1789. When 
Garibaldi came to London in 1864, our people went 
mad over him. I shall never forget the scene in 
the streets. Nothing like it has ever been seen 
since. The Whig Ministers feared to let the re- 
publican hero go about the north. Dukes, soldiers, 
sailors, politicians, and people all joined in the 
excitement. He was welcomed as no foreign visitor 
has ever been welcomed before or since — ^as no 
Englishman in our age has ever been received. 
To see the Red Shirt, with the sweet, calm, un- 
earthly look of the man, gently beaming on the 
roaring mob in Trafalgar Square, or, it may he, 
almost embraced by fine ladies and dandies in a 
ducal palace — this was like a vision of some being 
beyond this sublunary earth. When he entered the 
room where we stood to meet him, to me it seemed 
as if some historic hero, familiar to us in portraits, 
had stepped down from the frame, and returned to 
life. Our poets, Tennyson, the Brownings, orators 
like Gladstone, aristocrats like Sutherland, radicals, 
and revolutionists, felt in the hermit of Caprera 
something that was not so much a soldier and a 
man, but was rather the Soul of Italy. This sense 
of inspiration was shared by hardened politicians, 
by cultured society, and by passionate reformers. 
From 1848 to 1870 the cause of Italian Independence 
— of Italian Unity — represented to Englishmen of all 
schools and parties the cause of European peace 
and welfare. It happens that, during those middle 
years of the nineteenth century — the middle years 
of my own life — I was in touch with both sides of 
English opinion, both the parliamentary, minis- 


David Donald 

{By kind permission of Messrs. Alfred Bell c~ Co.) 

3Iy Memories of Italy ^ 1851-1915 

terial, and official world, and also with the Press, 
the leaders and the thinkers of the people, their 
hopes, their aspirations, and their passion for reform. 
I will not believe that in the forty-five years 
since the kingdom was finally seated in Rome, the 
sympathy of Liberal England has grown cooler. 
We understood and have never resented the policy 
which drove Italy into the Triplice. We have never 
taken advantage of her adventures when she took 
lines of her own, with which we could have no 
interest and no sympathy. When she hesitated so 
long before she saw her hand free to join ours, we 
did nothing to increase her difficulties, nor to 
criticise her action. We respected her famous 
maxim, V Italia far a da s6 ; and we did nothing to 
force her hand, for we were satisfied that she was 
not, and could not be, hostile, even if she were com- 
pelled by circumstances to be neutral. And now 
that she has joined the Three Allies, and is display- 
ing her ancient valour and genius in so many a 
bloody field and amid such tremendous precipices. 
Englishmen welcome her achievements with all the 
pride they feel for their own sons, for French, 
Russians, and Serbs ; for all who are battling with 
the secular enemy and oppressor of Italy — the 
historic Tedesco, We who during the year 1914 
stood side by side with France in a grapple for life 
and death were too much absorbed by it to repeat 
all our ardent transports of i860. But we feel the 
cause to be the same to-day. And we grasp the 
hand of every Italian hero to-day with the same 
honour that we felt for Cavour, Garibaldi, and 


T^he Book of Italy 

I spent, as I say, the autumn of 1865 in Rome 
in the days of Pio Nono and the full reign of papal 
rule under the French bayonets. It is only we of 
the Old Guard who can fully realise the enormous 
changes that in fifty years have passed over the 
Eternal City — changes, material, aesthetic, poetic, 
political, and spiritual. I was then myself in my 
thirty-fifth year, and had spent my Hfe as a publicist, 
a scholar, and an antiquarian, so that I must be 
now amongst the few living Englishmen who knew 
and studied Rome in the age of the Vatican domi- 
nion — Rome with the habits and debris of the 
Middle Ages untouched, with all the historic ruins, 
and the squalor, and the romance, and the devotional 
traditions of past ages undisturbed — Rome as it 
was seen by Byron, and Goethe, and Madame de 
Stael, and Hawthorne, and Ruskin, and Browning 
— aye, and by the travellers, the poets, the painters 
of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as it 
was painted by Claude Lorraine, Salvator Rosa, and 

I am myself a staunch modernist, a Nationalist, 
a confident believer in the future of Italian civili- 
sation, and in the proud resurrection and splendour 
of the Eternal City. But I am weak enough to 
feel a passing sigh of regret as I recall the Rome of 
fifty years ago, its Campo Vaccino, with all its foun- 
tains and its shady trees, and its mysterious 
mounds and the confused debris of two thousand 
years. Market was held, stalls of rural produce 
were set up, the white bullocks lay grazing at rest, 
wild herdsmen from the Campagna tended their 
cattle and their wagons on the plain of the Forum, 

3Iy Memories of Italy ^ 1851-1915 

some fifty feet above the Via Sacra^ and the temples 
and altars now excavated and open to view. The 
Capitol and the Palatine and Esquiline lay as they 
had done since Orsinis and Colonnas had ceased to 
fight and make fortresses of the tombs of their 
ancestors. The altars of the Martyrs still stood in 
the festooned circle of the Colosseum, as yet un- 
opened to the ghastly chambers underground. 

The Pope in his glory and the Cardinals and 
Prelates in all their picturesque pomp were seen in 
the streets, in the myriad churches and chapels, 
and in the summer palaces for villeggiatura in the 
lonely hillsides around. Monks, mendicants, and 
models hung about every street corner ; the city 
was barely lit and ill-guarded at night ; outside the 
ancient walls not a single modern building existed, 
the Campagna was a dream of the Old World — a 
vast mausoleum — a revelation of the Fabii, the 
Scipios, the Caesars. I once told a Cardinal- Arch- 
bishop that at times I felt at Rome more truly con- 
servative than the Sacred College. In my hall at 
home I have hung a collection of Pianesi's wonderful 
engravings to remind me of what I saw fifty years 
ago. And I never pass them without feeling what 
a cost has been paid for the brilliant and aspiring 
city we see to-day — the new capital of United Italy 
— destined, we trust, to another two thousand years 
of glory — ^yet to come in after ages. 

Frederic Harrison. 



In response to the request to write some pages for 
The Book of Italy, I am sure that nothing I could 
offer would be of so much interest and value as 
a few passages culled here and there from the 
speeches and letters of the greatest Italian statesman, 
Count Cavour, which reveal both his life-long 
sympathy and admiration for England, and also his 
extraordinary clear-sightedness. In 1855 he pointed 
out that England had begun all her wars with 
forces not in proportion to her real strength : 
" The history of all the wars in which England has 
taken part shows us that at the outset she had the 
worst of it, but the disasters suffered, the reverses 
encountered, instead of disheartening her, had the 
effect of inciting her to greater efforts and greater 
sacrifices, and while her adversaries, after having 
had some successes, began to lose courage and 
exhaust their forces, with the progress of the war she 
went on gaining in strength and in the means of 
attack. This is what happened in the great war of 
the French Revolution. In 1792 and in 1793 the 
English only met with defeats ; their means were 
small in comparison with the other Allies, but the 
other Allies wore themselves out, instead of which 
the English developed their forces more and more 
the longer the war lasted, and they reached such 

T'he Prescience of Count Cavour 

a point that in 1 8 14, if I am not mistaken, they had 
four hundred thousand men in their pay. What 
happened to them in Europe has happened to them 
several times in India. Almost all the first under- 
takings attempted there by the English turned out 
badly ; it was only after a thorough mishap that 
the East India Company sent forth sufficient means 
to carry out the proposed plan. Everyone remem- 
bers, perhaps, the expedition to Cabul, attempted 
in 1839, which resulted in the destruction of an 
entire corps d'armee. Out of fourteen or fifteen 
thousand men only four officers, I think, returned 
home.'* (A voice : " Only one man, who was a 
doctor.") *' Well, after this great disaster, which 
is almost without a parallel, many people prophesied 
the destruction of the English power in India, 
thinking that its last hour had rung. But far from 
this prediction being fulfilled, the year after, the 
English returned to Cabul with more than twice 
the number of men ; and what happened in the last 
century in the wars of the French revolution, what 
has happened now at Cabul, will, I believe, also 
happen in the Crimea. I am therefore convinced 
that we may hope to find our Allies on the field 
of battle stronger and more powerful than they 
ever were before." 

On another occasion Cavour said : " The 
English people have many great virtues, among 
which patriotism is pre-eminent. The Englishman 
judges every question from a national standpoint, 
and when he judges that the interest of England is 
at stake, all other considerations lose their weight." 
Again, '* When her interests are involved in a 


l^he Book of Italy 

cause, England promotes and sustains it with a 
tenacity and an energy which till now no other 
people has known how to equal." As early as 
1837, Cavour wrote : " I have entire faith in the 
good sense of the English people, and in the energy 
of the ruling classes." And twenty years later he 
declared that he was not one of those who believed 
England not to be in a condition to make war ; a 
belief which in 19 14 contributed more than any- 
thing else to the outbreak of the European con- 
flagration. Cavour knew better : "I believe, on 
the contrary," he said, '* that if there arose a cause 
with which her national interests and her amour 
propre were bound up, she would be ready to 
support it, sword in hand, with more fire and vigour 
than she has ever displayed." 

This deep and acute observer remarked that 
" British patriotism begins to transform itself, and 
to become less exclusive and egotistical ; it no 
longer holds that English prosperity depends on 
diminishing that of other states, but seeks, rather, 
to establish international bonds founded on hum- 
anity and justice." 

In one of his great speeches in the old Chamber 
of Deputies at Turin, the cradle of Italian liberties, 
where a few, though I fear too few. Englishmen have 
gone to look with reverence at the seat so long 
occupied by the maker of Italy as we see her now, 
Cavour made a profession of faith with regard to 
England which it is certain he would repeat, were he 
living, without altering a word : 

" No one in this Chamber attaches more import- 
ance to the opinions of English statesmen than I 

The Prescience of Count Cavour 

do. From my youth upwards I have been used 
to respect that country as being the source of the 
greater part of the poHtical knowledge which has 
guided my career ; I value and respect England as 
one of the first Powers of the world ; I venerate 
her as the rock on which liberty has found, and 
may find again, an impregnable refuge. In so far 
as it was possible, I have always preferred an 
alliance with England to any other.'* 

It has to be remembered that Cavour did not 
pronounce these words, and others like them, before 
an audience of naturally-approving Englishmen. 
He did make one speech in England — it was his 
" maiden speech " — and being a very young man, 
and never a very ready speaker, he was a good deal 
embarrassed when called upon to deliver it. I 
think it was at a dinner of the Royal Geographical 
Society. But his speeches in the Sardinian Cham- 
ber were meant entirely for his own countrymen ; 
certainly he never imagined that extracts from 
them would be given in an English Book of Italy 
in the year 191 6, though it would have surprised 
him little to find the Italy of his making ranged on 
the side of England and her brave Allies — indeed, 
it would have surprised him infinitely not to have 
found her there ! But Cavour's speeches were 
meant for his own countrymen alone, and they 
were meant not to obtain applause — he cared nothing 
for that — but to convince. I will not say that any 
among his hearers disliked England — ^was there ever 
an Italian who did so ? — ^but a large number disliked 
and mistrusted English statesmen, and the ideal of 
a constitutional monarchy on the British pattern, 


The Book of Italy 

with its lack of romance, its concessions to human 
imperfections, failed to satisfy the dreamers of 
sublime dreams. These last placed their hopes 
elsewhere, and looked for help and for an example, 
not to England, whose free institutions formed the 
great bulwark against revolution, but to the coun- 
tries which were then plunging one after the other 
into the revolutionary vortex towards which their 
despotic governments drove them. I speak of the 
autumn of 1848, and of a memorable sitting in the 
Chamber of Deputies at Turin, to which Senator 
F. RufRni, the greatest Italian authority now on 
Cavour, has lately dedicated an interesting study. 
The Radicals in the Chamber hoped in the risings 
at Vienna and in the assistance which was to be 
expected from the noble Hungarian nation, from the 
Slavs of Bohemia and Croatia — lastly from '' liberal 
and learned Germany," which was then lifting the 
curtain on the vision of an United Empire at the 
Frankfort Parliament. 

Cavour rose to answer deputy Brofferio, the 
eloquent speaker who was the mouthpiece of the 
Piedmontese Radicals, and, without preparation of 
any kind, he delivered what must be held to be 
the most prescient speech ever pronounced by a 
statesman. Vienna ? when, after the revolution of 
the previous March, the Viennese hoped to obtain 
liberal concessions from their sovereign, the very 
same students who had fought on the barricades, 
went willingly to fight against their struggling 
brothers in Italy. Hungary ? The Magyars, de- 
voted to their own liberties, cruelly oppressed the 
Slavs under their rule. All that had happened in 


T'he Prescience of Count Cavour 

that part ot Europe was only " the prelude to a 
terrible war of races, the war of Germanism against 
Slavism ! " 

After predicting, in passing, that the revolution 
in France, which had also inspired so many hopes 
in Italy, " would have for its final result, Louis 
Napoleon on the throne," Cavour went on to 
consider what of good there was to be expected 
from the new transformation of *' liberal and learned 
Germany." For the passage just quoted relating to 
the Austrian Empire I have to thank Senator Ruffini, 
as I had either not noticed its significance or had 
forgotten it. But I believe I was the first to call 
particular attention to the following prophetic words 
uttered in the autumn of the year 1848.^ 

" England feels a singular jealousy of that new 
Germanic Power which has constituted itself at 
Frankfort with outlooks of extreme ambition. 
Scarcely born, Germanism threatens to disturb the 
European equilibrium : already it reveals thoughts 
of preponderance and usurpation. The Diet of 
Frankfort does not conceal its design to extend its 
dominion to the shores of the North Sea, to invade 
Holland by treaties or by force, in order to become 
a maritime Power, and contest on the seas the 
empire wielded by England." 

On showing this prophecy in a detached form 
to one who is a master rather than a student of 
English political history, he expressed the doubt 

^ I referred to this forecast in a letter to the Saturday Review in 
January 1898, and again in my small book on Cavour, and finally, after 
it had been so surprisingly verified, in an appendix to a new edition of 
La Liberazione d^ Italia^ published at Milan last June. 


The Book of Italy 

whether the nascent schemes of the Frankfort 
Parhament were realised in the England of that day, 
or, at any rate, whether they produced the effect, 
which Cavour went on to say was natural, of causing 
the new German Empire to be regarded in England 
with strong feelings of suspicion. But Cavour was 
the last person to make an assertion not fully 
justified by facts. He read the English papers, and 
he states positively that they were full of articles in 
which the prospect of the German peril was openly 
discussed. More than that, he pointed to the acts 
of the English Government, which threatened war 
with Prussia and Germany on behalf of " oppressed 
Denmark, '* if mediation were not accepted on the 
question of Schleswig. The moral he drew from 
it all was, that England was bound in the long run 
to uphold Italian aspirations. The Austrian Empire 
would either become a Slav Power or be absorbed 
in Germany. The separation of Italy from Austria 
would in the end become the best means for resist- 
ing the ambitious policy of a rival Empire — the 
Germany of to-day ! 

Evelyn Martinengo Cesaresco. 



Immortal Italy, our angel of the dawn, 

When Tyranny had multiplied his man-brute spawn, 

And for a thousand years the blood-prints of his 

Were graves of liberty, yet freedom found a roof : 
Islets you sowed, like little stars of living light 
Phosphorent of the sun, while that Cimmerian 

Wrought ravine, all the treasuries of art adust. 
No culture save of carnage and the Teuton lust. 

Angel of Dawn, your cloistral sentries of the sky 
Held tryst for Love until, with white robes sweeping 

You awoke the song-birds, and from out his black 

Embruted Man gazed alp-ward, and the fastnesses 
Glowed ; for your hands were busy with the Day's 

Re-birth ; 
You clothed with mystery and magic all the 

earth ; 
You loosed the bonds of science, broke our prison 

And sang the Love that moves the sun and the 

other stars. 

E 35 

The Book of Italy 

As roses wrought of light, as Thebes of moving song, 
Our arts, our state you conjured, and the twain 

grew strong. 
And cast about the man-brute Minotaur a chain. 
But now his hoof-blow stunned us : he is loose 

Devouring man and maid. Gloom falls : we wake, 

we rise : 
Faithful you stand beside us, angel of the skies, 
Co-sentinel with us of the celestial springs. 
Beating the Night off with imperishable wings. 

# m m # # # 

There was one, vowed to hold inviolate his ward. 
Ravished her while she slept, then slew her with his 

sword : 
We heard him whimper that his friend of honest 

Discarded, now discards, and walks her separate 

March, Italy, with the angels, let the miscreant lie : 
You feared not for your fate, you live who dared 

to die 
Champion of faith and freedom, mother of light 

and law — 
You march not with the Brute whose god is in his 


A world there was intent to strengthen and assuage. 
To learn of mother earth, and build the brighter 

age : 
A stealthy smithy forged engines of agony 
To crash the fabric down and subjugate the free. 


2 ^ 

< M 

Italy the Redeemer 

A trustful folk I knew : ** He thinks no harm/' 

they said ; 
" Free of our lands and trades, for him our board 

is spread ; 
The cut-throat creed is gone with monsters of the 

slime." — 
The blow fell as they spoke. He gloried in his 


But Italy and the angels watched and did not fail ; 
Die will she rather than the Minotaur prevail. 
He is the tumid Ego's obscene gospeller, 
Braggart of brutal force, hell's mightiest minister. 
Breaker of bonds and bounds, fulfilled of lust and 

The engineer of anguish, fed on groans and sighs : 
His meat is served when millions writhe in mortal 

He laughs — a hundred millions will not smile again. 

Lest he prevail and leave no good in life beside 
The sweet and holy death of the tyrannicide, 
She barters ease for anguish to redeem her folk 
Who know, as once she knew, the man-brute 

Teuton's yoke. 
The shame, the ruthless gag, the screw extortionate, 
Wives wronged and sisters, whom 'twas death to 

vindicate ; 
Nor for these only, but for all the race of men, 
Else sheep and milch -kine for the man -brute 

Teuton's pen. 


T'he Book of Italy 

This was the hoUest war since time and earth 

The war to free from sepuhure the Risen Man ; 
See, Garibaldi beckons ; yonder is Calvary ! 
There's woe in all the land, and sorrow on the 

sea ; 
All lesser causes droop, but one large hope remains — 
To save from utter loss our hard- wrung human 

Hurl back the new dark age, and, ere our day be 

Reach forth with dying hands to pass the pure 

light on. 

9^ ^F ^F ^^ ^^ ^F 

A vasty stage I saw ; thereon a tragic king, 
Cruel, forsworn, a Judas, mad and menacing 
Like Macbeth when his sins turned all the seas to 

blood : 
Kaiser Enslaver he, the hell-king. Round him 

Czar Liberator, second of the immortal name, 
Albert the Good, whose glory is the Teuton's shame. 
The folk-king of the waves twice fifty years kept 

Victor, Redeemer of eternal Italy ! 

And one that bears no wand, no coronal, but 

The spirit Liberty herself, the Maid of Dreams ; 
All white her raiment, and her banner lilies wave 
White as the souls of those who die, like her, to 



Italy the Redeemer 

Freedom ; for she is France made perfect by dis- 

Joan, sister of heaven's own Carpenter, sweet 
shepherdess ; 

Nor hell, nor all hell's Teutons, shall destroy her 
shrine ; 

For they are living death, and she is life divine. 

The hell-king called on God, and labyrinths of 

Vomited man-brutes, and the world was full of 

Dolour, and rage ; for, lo, the loosened Minotaur, 
Whom forty years he nourished. And his hooves 

were four — 
Treachery, arrogance, and cruelty and lust. 
To trick, shame, terrify, and trample lives to dust : 
This thing of blood and iron by the hell-king 

This foul and horned beast, this Totem, was his 


Another God we worship ; He that fights for us. 
Making staunch friends of stalwart foes, whom, 

We fought ; and fighting, clothed, sustained, and 

The babes and wives of those by whom our blood 

was shed, 
And in the hour of conquest gave the foe our hand. 
To reign as brothers in the same God-given land : 
So may He lead us back to where His fountains well 
As victors, God with us — Victor Emmanuel. 


"The Book of Italy 

For though the Man-Brute nails the whole world 
to a cross, 

Still radiant we behold through tears of pain and 

Italy shining mid the darkness of the earth, 

Once more the angel by the tomb of Love's Re- 

Who rolls away the stone to free the Risen Man, 

Singing the song of life God made when time 

The song of valiant souls that rend their prison 

The song of Love that moves the sun and the other 

Newman Howard^ 


odU Jl 

"the Book of Italy 

For though the Man-Brute nails the whole world 

to a cross, 
Still radiant we behold through tears of pain and 

Italy shining mid the darkness of the earth 
Once more the angel by the tomb of Love; ^ - 

Who rolls away the stone to free the Risen Man, 
Singing the song of life God made when time 

The song of valiant souls that rend their prison 

The song of Love that moves the sun and the other 


John Lavery, A.R.A. 




Italy has a peculiar charm for all foreigners, even 
when they are not aware of its nature or cause. 
It is not merely the charm of beautiful country or 
delightful people — though it may be that there is 
no country so beautiful and no people so delightful. 
It is that, while the towns of Italy are all Italian, 
they are also all individual with the intense in- 
dividuality of men of genius or works of art. Each 
one is a different world from the other, as if its 
inhabitants had consciously made it to express 
themselves, whereas many towns in England and 
other countries seem to have grown through an 
economic accident. They are circumstances to 
which the people who live in them are subdued ; 
but in Italy towns great and small are not merely 
circumstances. They are to towns elsewhere what 
poetry is to ordinary speech. In them the spirit 
has been master, and has expressed itself through 
the material. 

And this is so because the fate of Italy in the 
past has been peculiar, both in its glory and in its 
misfortune. When elsewhere in the dark ages 
civilisation was lost in a barbarous equality, out of 
which nations grew, in Italy there remained cities 
that never were reduced to this equality, but kept 
the memory of the world alive within their walls, 


T'he "Book of Italy 

and with it the freedom and the hope of the world. 
In the words of Shelley : 

'^ Many a warrior-peopled citadel, 
Like rocks which fire lifts out of the flat deep, 

Arose in sacred Italy, 

Frowning o'er the tempestuous sea 
Of kings and priests and slaves, in tower-crowned majesty ; 
That multitudinous anarchy did sweep, 
And burst around their walls like idle foam, 
Whilst from the human spirit's deepest deep 
Strange melody with love and awe struck dumb 
Dissonant arms." 

Yet, when Shelley wrote this in Italy, the towered 
cities which he loved had lost their freedom, and 
seemed to live only in memory. 

It is the long tragedy of history that, whereas 
the mind of man grows finest in little states, and 
does in them best express all the intensity of the 
human spirit, there also comes a time when the 
larger, grosser and more inert states have learnt 
from them enough of civilisation to overcome their 
spiritual superiority with brute force. So it was 
with Greece ; and so again it was with Italy. For 
centuries the little city-states taught the world out 
of the fulness of their own knowledge and power. 
Each city was to its citizens a hundred times more 
than any mediaeval country could be to its inhabi- 
tants. They kept the very idea of patriotism alive 
with the idea of freedom ; for freedom was their 
peculiar treasure, guarded within the walls of their 
own city ; and they made their city, as it were, a 
beautiful casket in which to guard it. Other men 
might like the countryside in which they were born, 

Italy and Germany 

but it did not belong to them as Florence belonged 
to the Florentine. It did not express their love 
and power, nor were they moved to beautify it with 
labours beyond what were needed to win their daily 
bread. If they fought, it was in a quarrel they 
did not understand ; but the Florentine fought for 
his own city, and, when he walked its streets, he 
saw those great men who made it famous through 
the world. It was not merely an idea to him, but 
a fact always close to him in its beauty, always to be 
made more beautiful with his labours — a fact so 
concrete and so dear that he could not think or 
feel beyond it. And so it was with the other cities ; 
and they remained city-states, each with its own 
passionate and narrow patriotism, while the nations 
round gained knowledge and power from them, 
until they began to turn greedy eyes upon their 
teachers. Italy united would have been safe against 
the Spaniards, and French, and Germans ; but 
Italians had too fierce a love, each of his own city, 
to unite. They first in the modern world knew 
what patriotism was, and with it freedom ; but it 
was so intense that they could not enlarge it ; and 
therefore they lost their freedom, city by city, and 
without even the glory of one common struggle 
for it. 

They lost it almost unawares ; and then gradually 
their minds were prepared in adversity for that 
hope which, in their freedom and happiness, they 
had never even wished to entertain — ^the hope of 
United Italy. We do not know when it first began 
as a dream, or when it changed from a dream into 
a hope. Perhaps it was at that very moment when 


"The Book of Italy 

the last republics died ; or perhaps it grew into 
power at the Congress of Verona, concerning which 
Byron addressed Italy in bitter words : 

'* Crowd to the theatre with loyal rage, 
The comedy is not upon the stage ; 
The show is rich in ribandry and stars, 
Thou gaze upon it through thy dungeon bars ; 
Clap thy permitted palms, kind Italy, 
For thus much still thy fettered hands are free." 

What an English poet said then aloud must have 
been felt more keenly in many Italian hearts. There 
were nations all round growing more conscious of 
themselves after the war of the nations ; but Italy 
was not a nation, and no one, but a poet or two, 
called her one. She was only the tourists' country 
and the curator of her own past. If she would be 
quiet and show her treasures to the world, she 
would not be treated ill by her masters ; but she 
must not force them to take her seriously. 

She did force them to take her seriously ; and 
the freeing of Italy was the greatest triumph of the 
spirit in the modern world. For it was the spirit 
of Italy that freed her ; and even if she had great 
allies, it was her spirit that won them. And when 
her freedom was accomplished, and with it her 
unity, men might well believe that the victory was 
won for national freedom once for all, and that 
nothing remained but to make that victory else- 
where and inevitably complete. 

Yet in that same year another national unity 
was accomplished, a unity no- less natural and law- 
ful, which was to involve a new danger to national 


Italy and Germany 

freedom all over the world. Men did not know it 
at the time. They did not see that while the unity 
of Italy was in freedom, the unity of Germany was 
in the willing slavery of a people who, because they 
were themselves content not to be free, would in 
time surely threaten the freedom of other nations. 
In the unity of Italy there remained the memory 
of all those lovely city-states, for the cities them- 
selves remained and kept the love of their citizens ; 
and so their common freedom was, and remains, a 
complex and harmonious thing, aiming at no uni- 
formity and ever ready to sacrifice the proper 
diversity of freedom to power. The task for Italy, 
her highest ambition, which she has always kept 
before herself, is to solve that old problem which 
has never been solved before — to preserve the 
diversity and energy and spiritual intensity of the 
city-state within a larger unity powerful enough 
to defend itself against all attacks from without. 
But that was not the task which Germany set her- 
self, the ambition which slowly possessed her with 
her greedy power. At the very outset of her unity, 
obtained in a war of conquest, she submitted herself 
to the predominance of Prussia, because Prussia, 
she believed, could teach her to be powerful. She 
gave away her freedom for a great price ; and it 
was inevitable, as we see now, that she should try 
to exact that price from the world. 

It was not unity in diversity that she desired, 
but uniformity for the sake of power. She deli- 
berately refused that higher idea of a nation without 
which unity itself would have been to Italy too costly, 
and chose rather an idea as old as Assyria, the 


The Book of Italy 

sacrifice of all inner richness to outward power ; 
and it was all the worse because she had so much 
inner richness to sacrifice. In a generation the old 
diverse, musical, philosophical Germany was changed 
into a machine, conscious of its own purpose — 
morbidly conscious, indeed — because of all the 
sacrifices it had made, but with a purpose entirely 
mechanical. And so it was certain that, when the 
trial of strength came at last, the two lately united 
nations would be found on opposite sides. The 
alliance which held them together for a time was 
purely artificial. Germany was the link between 
Italy and her ancient oppressor ; it was Germany 
indeed who seemed to secure her from the attempted 
revenge of that oppressor ; but all the while, un- 
known to her and to the world, Germany was 
becoming a more dangerous enemy to the common 
freedom of Europe than Austria herself had ever 
been or had ever hoped to be. 

And as the threat of Germany began to reveal 
itself, her alliance with Italy grew of necessity 
more and more formal, as it was more and more 
against nature. The old oppressor, Austria, had 
become Germany's vassal ; and there was nothing 
for Italy but to become either her enemy or her 
vassal too. This grew every day more plain in the 
years just before the war, and Italy did not need 
to nerve herself up to a decision when that was 
necessary. The decision possessed her like a pas- 
sion ; and she turned to her sister nations of the 
west because they were her sisters in mind and 
purpose, and joined to her by a tie stronger even 
than the tie of blood. If Italy had fought for the 

Italy and Germany 

German cause, if even she had remained neutral, 
she would have beUed the very hopes in which she 
was reborn. She would have been no longer the 
Italy of the city-states and all their great children, 
not the Italy of Mazzini and Garibaldi, but a mock- 
Germany who had sold her own soul without even 
a chance of getting the price for it. 

The German statesmen profess indignation at 
the treachery of Italy ; but in their hearts they 
cannot feel it. For, apart from the fact that for 
them there is no such thing as treachery, they knew 
that for years there had been no interchange of 
confidence between Germany and Italy. They 
never told Italy that they meant an attack upon the 
liberties of the world. They were afraid to tell 
her that, because they knew that she was an ally, 
not an accomplice like their vassal Austria. And 
they knew that she could not be an accomplice 
because of her character and past history and 
present aims. If one is a partner in honest business 
with a man, one is not therefore bound to assist 
him in a burglary. And if one discovers that he is 
a burglar, there is nothing to be done but to dis- 
solve the partnership and to assist justice against 
him. That was the course Italy took when the 
German power was at its height. It could not be 
said of her that she turned against her old ally 
in the hour of defeat. The moment at which she 
made war was the moment at which the pressure 
of her popular will became irresistible. In all the 
negotiations before, that will was only becoming 
conscious of itself. Italy knew at last that she could 


I'he Book of Italy 

not consent to a German victory. She is a part 
of Europe ; before she was a nation, she did more 
to make Europe what it is than any nation ; and she 
became a nation because the Europe which she had 
helped to make was Europe. How then could she 
sit still and watch the unmaking of Europe ? It 
was impossible, and we knew it from the first. 
We waited for the inevitable day ; and when it 
came, we were glad to have our sister with us. 
But we had loved her too much before ever to 
doubt her. 

A. Glutton Brock. 



[This letter was addressed by Paul Sabatier to Professor 
Mariano Falcinelli, of Assisi, President of the ^' Societe inter- 
nationale des Etudes Franciscaines ^"^ of which M. Sabatier 
himself is the Honorary President. It was written immediately 
after the intervention of Italy. — The Editor.] 

28 Mai. 

Cher et Excellent PRfeiDENT, — 

Vous avez senti, n'est-ce pas, qu'en ces 
journees historiques ma pensee vole sans cesse vers 
vous avec une inexprimable emotion? Nos campagnes, 
apparemment muettes depuis dix mois, et qui sem- 
blaient n 'avoir pas songe a feter meme la victoire 
de la Marne, hier ont tout a coup pavoise ; et les 
plus recules de nos villages se sont ornes d'une 
multitude de drapeaux aux couleurs de ITtalie. Je 
voudrais etre poete pour vous dire, chers amis 
d 'Assise, quelle sorte de joie vient de nous donner 
votre noble et grande Patrie. 

Chez beaucoup de nos vieillards cevenois j'ai 
senti le contentement, tout simple et naturel, 
d'hommes qui, par leurs enfants, ont fait de grands 
sacrifices, dont toute Tenergie s'est tendue en un 
magnifique effort, et qui voient arriver, pour com- 
battre les memes batailles, une armee jeune, belle, 

Mais ce concours materiel est loin d'etre tout ce 


"The Book of Italy 

que nous vous devons. Et ici je crains bien que la 
langue ne me fasse defaut pour exprimer ce que 
je sens si bien en moi, ce que j'ai senti si vive- 
ment chez beaucoup d'autres. Dans cette guerre 
que le peuple de France croyait impossible, et a 
laquelle on Ta brusquement contraint, il s'est re- 
dresse avec une energie qu'il ne se soupconnait pas, 
— et dont personne ne le savait capable, — pour 
une idee, ou plutot pour I'idee. II lui a semble qu'il 
representait Teffort moral. Tame vivante, Tesprit 
meme de la creation menace par des forces mate- 
rielles et brutales. II a lutte d'instinct, avec une foi 
indomptable, sans songer a se preoccuper des suc- 
ces ou des revers. 

La securite de sa foi, la nettete de son devoir ne 
dependent pas des circonstances. Mais quelle n'est 
pas Tardeur de son entrain quand il voit d'autres 
peuples se lever a Tappel de la meme idee. II 
n'avait jamais pu doubter de la victoire, parce qu'en 
doubter eut ete le suicide du divin en lui ; cependant, 
de cette certitude mystique du triomphe a la vue du 
triomphe, encore difficile, mais tout prochain, il y 
a loin. Or, cette distance, c'est vous, amis et freres 
d'ltalie, qui nous avez permis de la franchir d'un 

Tout cela est fort complexe et pourtant je m 'as- 
sure que nous nous comprenons. II y a quelques 
mois, dans un elan d'horreur contre les atrocites 
dont le recit parvenait jusqu'a vous et de pitie 
pour tant de milliers d'innocentes victimes, vous 
aviez souhait6 la paix et tente un effort dans ce 
sens. Et voila que cette guerre devient la votre, 
comme elle etait la notre. Ou plutot, vous Tavez 


F. Cadogan Cowper, A.R.A. 
{By kind permission of Frederick M. Fry, Esq., C.V.O.) 

Lettre d'^un Franqais a un Italien 

faite votre. Nous, nous y avions ete entraines de 
vive force, et rien au monde ne pouvait eloigner 
Tepreuve de nous, — sauf la trahison ou la lache 
abdication, — vous, vous Tavez faite votre, par un 
acte de volonte reflechie auquel toute la nation a 
collabore. Pendant plus que neuf mois vous avez vu 
jour apres jour ce qu'il en coute de se defendre 
contre TAllemagne. Deux petits-fils de Garibaldi, et 
autour d'eux une foule de vos concitoyens, sont 
tombes, la-bas, dans TArgonne, inoubliables heros 
auxquels tous les coeurs bien nes du monde entier 
ont tresse des couronnes. Leurs compagnons de 
gloire et de labeur vous ont raconte ce que sont 
les carnages de la guerre moderne. Et voila que 
ces corps a corps gigantesques que vous maudissiez 
naguere, que vous auriez voulu arreter, vous vous 
y jetez a votre tour avec une male energie. Et dans 
cette decision, qui semble au premier abord contre- 
dire votre effort pacifique d'il y a quelques mois, 
vous trouvez, j'en suis sur, une immense joie et 
comme une delivrance. 

Si d'autres que vous lisent ces lignes, peut-etre 
jugeront-ils etrange que des amis de la paix soient 
heureux d'une declaration de guerre ! Et pourtant 
il en est ainsi, n'est-il pas vrai ? C'est que, si nous y 
regardons bien, Tltalie a ete amenee a ce pas deci- 
sif par des forces mysterieuses qui ne se pesent ni 
ne se comptent ; mais qui, en de rares heures de 
Tnistoire, renversent tout pour creer une ere nou- 

Je n'aurai pas Timpertinence de dire que les 
pourparlers diplomatiques ne furent qu'une sorte 
de vain ceremonial. lis ont ete sinceres, et je sais 

F 51 

T'he Book of Italy 

l*immense valeur intellectuelle et morale de Son- 
nino ; mais dans les salons de la ** Consulta," entre 
lui et son interlocuteur, passait Tame latine. Et 
Tame latine vient de remporter une de ses plus 
grandes victoires historiques. 

Le monde entier suspendait sa respiration pour 
voir ce qui allait se passer. L 'Amotion de la France 
etait plus anxieuse encore : c'etait un peu celle de 
la jeune fille qui aime, qui aime de toutes ses 
forces, qui croit etre aimee et qui cependant n'a 
pas encore le droit de parler de son noble et ideal 
amour. Et alors, elle attend ; et dans son attente il 
y a, a la fois, emotion et securite ; car il lui semble 
que son amour est conforme a la nature des choses 
et a la vie. II est a la fois tres vif et tres pur. II est 
inspire par un grand reve de collaboration efficace 
k une oeuvre ideale. 

Et la France chaque matin levait les yeux vers 
Rome, et aussi vers tant d'autres de vos cites qui 
comptent plus dans Thistoire que Berlin et Vienne 
reunies ; et des signes qui aux autres ne disaient 
rien, faisaient battre son coeur plus fort. Lorsque 
les restes des Garibaldi quitterent nos tranchees, 
elle les suivit, non comme on suit des cercueils, 
mais comme on suit les reliques de glorieux mar- 
tyrs qui ont eu la joie de rendre temoignage a la 
verite et dont la mort change le cours des choses. 
Les funerailles de Bruno et de Costante montrerent 
que le cceur de Tltalie battait a I'unisson de celui 
de la France : puisque Tunion des ames etait si 
eclatante, Tautre ne pouvait tarder. 


Lettre d'^un Franqais a un Italien 


Tels sont, chers amis d ' Assise, les sentiments qui 
ont donne aux pieces diplomatiques par lesquelles 
votre pays s'est joint au notre, une base et une 
portee que jamais, au cours des siecles, n'avaient 
cues des arrangements internationaux : jamais 
peuple civilise n'a ete tente de considerer les 
trait es comme des chiffons de papier, mais les plus 
importantes conventions ne s'occupent d 'ordinaire 
que de questions materielles. Cette fois le travail 
des chancelleries a ete precede, inspire et domine, 
on pent le dire, par des explosions de sentiments 
qui feront que les forces les plus vives de chacun 
de nos peuples travailleront ensemble, s'harmonise- 
ront, s'intensifieront et arriveront dans un prochain 
avenir a une hauteur de vues digne de preparer 
une civilisation nouvelle. 

Ce n'est pas le hasard qui a fait que Slaves, 
Anglo-Saxons et Latins, nous nous trouvons unis 
en un effort commun contre la force brutale et que 
le nom d 'Entente lui a et6 donne. Cette appella- 
tion nouvelle indique une cohesion morale inspiree 
par rintelligence et le cceur, et oti les stipulations 
materielles ne sont guere que les premieres pierres 
milliaires d'un chemin qui se prolonge au dela de 
ce que nous pouvons voir et prevoir. 

Notre viatique au moment ou nous partons tous, 
la main dans la main, pour cette epopee nouvelle 
n'est pas un sentiment de haine. Nous avons eu 
horreur des atrocites allemandes, de ce hideux mili- 
tarisme organise avec une si redoubtable methode, 
et qui semble avoir fait disparaltre des consciences 
la distinction du bien et du mal ; nous avons fr^mi 


T'he Book of Italy 

et nous eussions ete tentes, si c'eut ete possible, de 
douter de Dieu et de la verite, en voyant la gros- 
siere hypocrisie qui profane les deux plus nobles 
efforts de Thumanite : la religion et la science ; 
mais notre instinct optimiste a repris bien vite le 
dessus. Nous avons avec nous les forces profondes, 
les forces vraies ; celles qui ont pu etre mises en 
echec provisoirement au cours de I'histoire, mais 
qui, a travers toutes les difficultes, ne cessent pour- 
tant pas de grandir : le droit, la justice, la liberte, 
la vie, Tamour. 

C'est a ce triomphe que nous nous sommes 
donnes, et non pas a la realisation de reves sangui- 
naires. Quand la Germanic aura ete enchainee et 
placee dans Timpossibilite absolue de mettre de 
nouveau ses voisins en peril, nous aurons vis-a-vis 
d'elle des devoirs precis. Nous n'abandonnons pas 
les demoniaques et les dements, meme les plus 
danger eux ; mais apres les avoir reduits a Timpuis- 
sance nous guettons les instants de lucidite pour 
tacher d'eveiller en eux la conscience. Nous ferons 
de meme pour nos ennemis d'aujourd'hui, sans 
trop compter sur leur guerison a bref delai : d'une 
part, en garde contre le veritable genie de simula- 
tion dont sont souvent capables les alienes ; d 'autre 
part, fermement decides a faire vis-a-vis d'eux tout 
notre devoir de membres de Thumanite. 

C'est ainsi que cette guerre, plus atroce que ce 
que rimagination aurait pu supposer, prend, vue 
de nos lignes, un caractere d 'effort moral. 

Pardonnez-moi de vous retenir si longtemps, car 
tout cela, vous le savez, mais j'ai eprouve le besoin 
de venir en parler avec vous, d'en rever avec vous, 


Lettre d'^un Francais a un Italien 

comme on reve d'une musique qu'on entend tous 
les jours, dont on ne se lasse jamais, et dans la 
repetition de laquelle on trouve un aliment spiri- 
tuel toujours ancien, toujours nouveau. 

Et puis, il faut bien nous avouer que tous les 
dangers qui nous menacent ne sont pas la-bas, au 
dela de la derniere ligne occupee par nos soldats. 

Les idees allemandes se sont infiltrees partout et 
il a pu y avoir f a et la quelques-uns de nos jeunes 
gens qui, un instant, se sont laisse seduire par la 
theorie du surhomme et de la force creant le droit. 

En faisant appel aux passions les plus brutales, 
I'Allemagne a reveille des instincts qui somnolent 
en chacun de nous, que de longs siecles de civili- 
sation avaient presque elimines, mais contre le 
retour desquels il faut nous premunir. Fatalement 
nous sommes tentes de repondre a nos adversaires 
sur le terrain meme oil ils nous attaquent, et avec 
les moyens qu'ils emploient. C'est la que notre 
patriotisme devra s'elever a une hauteur de vues 
non encore atteinte par Thumanite et dont Thistoire 
du passe ne nous fournit pas d'exemple. 

Vaincre nos ennemis sur les champs de bataille, 
les reduire a merci, n'est en effet pas la seule tache 
qui s 'impose. Quand celle-la sera couronnee d'un 
plein succes, il s'en presentera une autre, non 
moins necessaire, non moins difficile, et qu'il faut 
prevoir des maintenant : je veux parler de la lutte 
qu'il s'agira d 'engager dans nos divers pays et 
dans nos propres coeurs contre les idees et les 
methodes de I'Allemagne. Ni les hommes d'egHse, 
ni les hommes de science n'ont su chez nos ennemis 
voir a quelles monstruosites morales et politiques 

I 55 

T'he Book of Italy 

les conduisait une fausse conception de Tamour de 
la patrie. 

Deutschland fiber alles ! 

Quelques generations ont suffi durant lesquelles 
toutes les voix artistiques, religieuses et scienti- 
fiques ont enseigne cela, pour fausser les idees et 
le coeur de ce pays et en faire non seulement un 
redoubtable danger pour ses voisins de TEurope, 
mais un peril moral pour la civilisation tout en- 

Voila ce qu'il ne faut pas perdre de vue un seul 
instant, et puisque Topinion publique des nations 
alliees est restee pure, puisqu'elle sent que le vrai 
culte de la patrie trouve sa consecration dans 
Tamour de la verite, de la justice, du droit et de la 
liberte, veillons pieusement sur ces germes d'idea- 
lisme en nous et autour de nous, pour les deve- 
lopper, et faire qu'au lendemain du cataclysme 
europeen, ils soient plus vigoureux que jamais. 

Nous ne pouvons pas tout, mais nous pouvons 
quelque chose pour que les divines clartes prennent 
chaque jour plus d'eclat. Nous allons delivrer al 
Serbie et la Belgique, les provinces Irredente et 
TAlsace-Lorraine, ressusciter la Pologne ; dans cet 
effort nous aurons avec nous toutes les forces vives 
de rhumanite, non seulement pour applaudir et ad- 
mirer, mais obligees en quelque sorte de se trouver 
en communion d 'idees avec nous et solidaires de 
ce que nous ferons. L 'Entente s'elargira encore 
et la paix europeenne sera etablie sur des bases 
qu'elle n'a jamais cues. Si au contraire nous suc- 
combions a la tentation de nous venger de nos 


Lettre d'^un Francais a un Italien 

ennemis en employant contre eux leurs propres 
armes, en nous inspirant de leurs methodes, en 
creant de nouveaux pays irredenti ou de nouvelles 
Alsaces, notre victoire serait pr^caire et la paix 
mal assuree. 

Ces bases morales de I'Entente doivent etre gra- 
vees en caracteres ineffacables sur nos drapeaux 
afin d'ecarter de notre chemin I'adhesion de qui- 
conque n'a pas cet ideal et mediterait d'utiliser 
notre superiorite materielle pour des entreprises 
contre le droit ou la liberte des autres. 

II serait singulierement dangereux de ne pas nous 
rendre compte de Timmensite de la tache que nous 
avons entreprise. Ni nos fils, ni nos petits-fils n'en 
verront la fin. La deroute du militarisme prussien 
et Tabaissement de Torgueil germanique ne sera 
qu'un point de depart. II faudra bientot determiner 
les causes, etablir les responsabilites : et alors on 
s'apercevra que les crimes qui ont fait trembler 
d'etonnement et d 'indignation le monde entier sont 
la suite naturelle et pas tres lointaine d'erreurs 
morales. L'aveuglement scientifique des princes de 
la critique et de la science allemandes qui ont signe 
le manifeste des 93, I'absence de tout sursaut de 
conscience, de pitie ou d 'amour chez les cardinaux 
et les eveques, aussi bien que chez les pasteurs 
protestants et les aumoniers qui ont assiste a des 
massacres et ^ des profanations qu'on n'ose racon- 
ter, tout cela decoule de Terreur qui consiste a 
diviniser la patrie, a voir dans ses interets — meme 
les plus materiels — les fins supremes. 

L'erreur allemande guette tous les peuples, elle 
nous guettera surtout quand nous serons penches 


T'he Book of Italy 

pieusement sur nos patries respectives pour en 
panser les blessures. 

Si apres la victoire sur les champs de bataille 
nous n'arrivions pas a remporter la victoire spiri- 
tuelle et a reintegrer Tideal a la place qui lui con- 
vient, rheroisme de nos soldats n'aurait fait que 
reculer la catastrophe de quelques annees. 

Le culte de la force et de la matiere que TAUe- 
magne a erige en religion d'Etat n'a laisse aucun 
autre peuple tout a fait indemne. Puisque nous 
nous sommes leves tous ensemble pour arreter sa 
marche triomphale, rendons-nous bien compte de 
Teffort gigantesque qui nous est demande. Desor- 
mais, nous sommes les representants de I'ascension 
humaine vers la verite et vers la saintete et toutes 
les emotions, toutes les ardeurs, toutes les espe- 
rances dont tressaillit le cceur de Franpois d 'Assise 
doivent faire tressaillir les notres. 

La mission qui s 'impose a nous est de restaurer 
le temple des idees eternelles : " Vade^ Frandsce^ et 
repara domum meam quae tota, ut cernis, destruitur,^^ 
A cette ceuvre, qui ne consistera ni a renverser le 
passe ni a le repeter, mais a I'accomplir et a donner 
a la civilisation morale et spirituelle une vigueur 
analogue a celle des progres accomplis dans le 
domaine materiel, viendra collaborer I'elite du 
monde entier ; mais vous ne trouverez pas eton- 
nant, j'espere, que les autres membres de 1 'Entente 
se tournent avec confiance vers 1 'Italic et se rap- 
pellent qu'elle n'est pas seulement la terre classique 
de I'art et du soleil, mais celle aussi de la saintete. 
Et nous, franciscanisants d'au dela des Alpes, qui 
sommes vos freres, vos admirateurs et vos obliges, 


Lettre d'^un Francais a un Italien 

un peu plus encore que le reste de nos compa- 
triotes, nous savons a n'en pas douter que le sol de 
rOmbrie n'a pas perdu sa fertilite et que la terre 
qui donna au monde saint Benoit, saint Francois, 
sainte Claire, fr. Egide, fr. Leon et tant d'autres, 
saura nous donner encore les serviteurs de I'ideal 
apres lesquels nous soupirons : '* Rotate, coeli, desuper 
et nubes pluant justum.^^ 

II me serait doux de penser, chers amis d'Assise, 
que vous ne m'en voudrez pas de cette trop longue 
lettre,et qu'elle ne vous semblera pas trop indigne 
d'etre lue sur le sol beni ou naquit le Patriarche de 
la democratic chretienne, le Precurseur d'une ere 
nouvelle. Je n'ai pu m'empecher de venir causer 
avec vous en cette heure grave entre toutes, per- 
suade que, concitoyens du plus grand des renova- 
teurs spirituels qui aient existe depuis le Christ, 
vous avez saisi toute Tampleur de la tache qui 
incombe a TEurope nouvelle et que la petite ville 
chantee par Dante realisera la prophetic de Tim- 
mortel poete : \ 

"... Chi d'esso loco fa parole 
non dica Ascesi, che direbbe corto, 
ma Oriente, se proprio dir vuole." 

Votre devoue et heureux concitoyen, 

Paul Sabatier. 



May 28. 

Dear and Excellent President, — You have surely 
felt, in these historic days, how my thoughts fly 
straight to you with inexpressible eagerness. Our 
French country-side, seemingly silent for ten 
months, and which appeared never to have thought 
of celebrating the victory of the Marne, was stirred 
yesterday to the full depths of its being ; and our 
most remote villages were bright with a thousand 
flags displaying the colours of Italy. 

I wish I were a poet, so that I might fitly tell 
you, dear friends of Assisi, what manner of joy has 
been given us now by your noble and great country. 

From many an old man of our Cevennes I have 
felt the satisfaction, simple and natural, which 
comes to those who, after the supreme sacrifice 
they have made in the giving up of their well- 
beloved sons — after concentrating their energies in 
this one supreme effort — at last see arising to fight 
the same battles a new army, young, beautiful, 
alive with enthusiasm. But this material aid is 
far from being all that we owe you. And here I 
fear that my tongue will falter when I try to tell 
you what I feel so deeply in my own heart, and 
what I feel so profoundly moving the hearts of so 
many others. 

In this war, which the people of France had 

o ^ 
o i 

Letter to an Italian Friend 

thought impossible, and to which they found them- 
selves called without a moment's warning, they 
have shown an energy surprising to themselves, a 
strength of which no one knew them capable, in 
their devotion to an ideal — or, better still, to the 
greatest of ideals. 

To themselves they seem to stand for moral 
effort, for the living soul, for the very spirit of 
creation threatened by material, brute force. They 
have fought instinctively with unconquerable faith, 
without a thought of whether, for the moment, 
successes shall come or repulses. 

The firmness of their faith, their clear and 
distinct perception of duty have nothing to do 
with mere circumstance. Yet how their ardour 
flames anew, when they see other peoples answer 
the call of the same ideal ! 

They had never really doubted that victory 
must be theirs in the end, for such a doubt would 
have been a suicide of the spirit ; but between 
this mystic certitude of triumph and its actual 
achievement — hard, even though it be not far away 
— there is a road to travel. 

To-day we owe to you, friends and brothers of 
Italy, the swift, sure sense that we have almost 
accompHshed the journey. All this may seem 
complex ; but I am sure that we understand one 
another. A few months ago, in an outburst of 
horror at the atrocities of which the story had 
come to you, and of pity for the thousands on 
thousands of innocent sufferers, you longed for 
peace, and tried hard to preserve it. And to-day 
this war is yours, too, just as it was ours. 


T'he Book of Italy 

Or rather, you have made it yours. We were 
forced into it. Nothing in the world could have 
spared us this trial except treason, or base sub- 
mission. You, on the other hand, have made it 
yours by a deliberate act of your national will, in 
which your whole nation has joined together. 
Through more than nine months you saw, day by 
day, what it costs to make a stand against the 
onslaught of Germany. Two grandsons of Gari- 
baldi, and with them a swarm of your fellow-country- 
men, have already fallen there, in the Argonne, 
deathless heroes for whom every honest heart in 
the whole world has woven a wreath. Their living 
fellows in glory, and in battle, have told you what 
manner of thing the carnage is in modern war. 

And here, in this gigantic struggle to the death 
which you deplored, so little while ago, and did 
your best to stop, you have yourselves joined with 
the full vigour of manhood. And in this decision, 
which at first glance may appear inconsistent with 
your effort for peace of those few months ago, you 
feel, I am certain, the joy of a great enfranchise- 
ment. If foreigners should read these lines they 
may perhaps find it strange that true lovers of 
peace should be glad of a declaration of war. 

And, indeed, it is so. It has happened, if we 
perceive things aright, because Italy has been im- 
pelled to this decisive step by mysterious forces, 
beyond the scope of weighing or of counting, such 
as in those rare moments of history which are great 
bring all things crashing down, so that out of the 
ruin there may be shaped a new era. 

It is not that I believe the attempts of diplomacy 

Letter to an Italian Friend 

to have been hollow shams. They were sincere. 
I, for one, fully recognise the measureless moral 
and intellectual worth of Sonnino, but between 
him and his interlocutor, in the very depth of their 
council-chamber, there swept the spirit of the 
Latin race. And, at this moment, that spirit of 
the Latin race has won a victory which shall count 
among the greatest in its history. 

The whole world held its breath, as it waited 
to see what should happen. The anxiety of France 
was deepest of all. It had a character all its own ; 
it was what a young girl might feel, who loves with 
all her heart, who believes that she is loved, and 
yet has not heard the word which should let her 
speak out her love, in all the nobility of its ideal. 
So she waits ; and in her waiting she is anxious 
and yet undoubting ; for to her such love as hers 
seems a part of nature and of life. It is at once 
flaming, yet utterly pure ; its inspiration is a noble 
dream that human beings can work together to- 
wards an end that shall not be of the flesh. 

So, day after day, France cast its eyes on Rome, 
and on those other cities of yours which count 
more, each by herself, in the history of mankind 
than Berlin and Vienna rolled into one. And signs 
which to others might have meant nothing, made 
the heart of France beat stronger. 

When the bodies of the two Garibaldis left our 
trenches, France followed them not as one might 
follow a funeral procession, but as the relics of 
martyrs are followed who have had the glory and 
the joy of bearing witness to the truth, and whose 
death has changed the course of things to come. 


I'he Book of Italy 

The funeral rites of Bruno and of Costante proved 
that the heart of Italy was beating in unison with 
the heart of France ; when union of spirits is so 
close, the rest must follow soon. 

June 3. 

Such, dear friends of Assisi, are the feelings 
which give the diplomatic papers now uniting your 
country with ours a depth and a scope such as in 
all the course of the ages no international documents 
have ever had before. 

There has never been a time, to be sure, when 
any civilised people has been even tempted to 
regard treaties as scraps of paper. But even the 
most important diplomatic documents are generally 
concerned only with material affairs. This time 
the work of the Chanceries was preceded, was 
inspired, was controlled, if one may use the term, 
by an outburst of emotion in which the most vital 
forces which inspired both of our peoples seemed 
bound to work together, in harmony with crescent 
power, until in the end they should rise together 
to a height whence together they could plan the 
civilisation of the future. 

It is by no mere chance that the Allies — Slavs, 
Anglo-Saxons, and Latins — ^who are making in 
common their great effort to resist mere brute 
force, have been apt to call their own alliance by 
the name of Entente, or Understanding. This new 
term implies that their cohesion is moral, that it 
is inspired at once by the intellect and by the heart, 
that material conditions are not the milestones in the 
road which we mean to travel, and that we shall tread 
this road together so long as we can see or foresee. 


Letter to an Italian Friend 

Our watchword, at this moment in which we 
are starting, hand in hand, on this new path of 
glory, has in it no tinge of hatred. We abhor the 
atrocities of the Germans, of their hateful militarism 
organised with so terrific a system that it seems to 
have blurred out of its conscience any distinction 
between good and evil. We have shuddered, and 
had it been possible, we might have been tempted 
to doubt the being of God and of Truth, when we 
saw their coarse hypocrisy profane the two noblest 
forces in humanity — religion and science. But our 
instinctive spirit of hope soon took the lead of us 
again. We have on our side the deep forces, and 
the true : those which in the course of history 
have now and then been threatened for a while, 
but which through all troubles and perils have 
never ceased to struggle forward into ever greater 
growth : the forces of right, of justice, of freedom, 
of life, of love. 

It is for the triumph of these that we are striving, 
and not for dreams of bloodshed. 

When Germany shall at last be shackled, and 
put where she can no longer endanger those about 
her, we shall have duties towards her. We do not 
abandon those who are possessed of devils, nor the 
mad, however dangerous they be, but after we have 
placed them where they can do no more harm we 
watch for the lucid interval wherein we may perhaps 
reawaken them to consciousness and conscience. 
So we shall do for our enemies of to-day, with no 
undue hope that their cure can come in any short 
space of time, on our guard against the genius for 
dissimulation which we know to be a part of madness, 


T'he Book of Italy 

but firmly determined to do for them all which we 
owe them as fellow- members of the human race. 

So this war, more atrocious than any which 
imagination could have conceived beforehand, takes 
on, when seen from where we ourselves stand now, 
the character of a moral crusade. 

Forgive me for dwelling so long on what you 
all know already. I have felt the need of speaking 
of it to you, of dreaming of it with you, as one 
dreams of some music, heard every day, yet never 
cloying, in the notes of which there is exhaustless 
food for the spirit, for ever old yet for ever new. 

And then it must be admitted that all the 
dangers which threaten us are not on the further 
side of the lines defended by oursoldiers. German 
ideas have soaked in everywhere, and here and 
there our own youth are seduced for the while 
by the theories of Superman, and of Might makes 

By appealing to our most animal passions, 
Germany has aroused instincts dormant in us all, 
almost subdued by centuries of civilisation, but still 
so strong that we must guard against their resurrec- 
tion. We are almost, fatally tempted to meet our 
enemy on his own ground, and to fight him with 
his own weapons. Here our patriotism must rise 
to a height not yet attained by mere humanity, 
unexampled in the history of the past. 

To conquer our foes in battle, to make them sue 
for terms of peace, is nowise our only duty. When 
that is crowned with full success, another will be 
before us, for which we must begin to make ready 
even now. I mean the strife which we must wage, 


Augustus John 

Letter to an Italian Friend 

in our own countries and in our own hearts, against 
the ideals and the methods of Germany. 

Neither the men of God there nor the men of 
learning can perceive to-day the moral and political 
enormities to which they have been led by a mis- 
taken notion of the love they owe their Fatherland. 

A few generations, during which every artistic, 
every scientific, and every religious voice has taught 
untruth to the heads and the hearts of Germany, 
have sufficed to make that country not only a peril 
to all its neighbours in Europe, but a moral peril 
to all civilisation. 

That is what we must not forget for a single 
instant. Even though in the allied countries public 
opinion still be pure, even though in them patriotism 
still be consecrated by love of truth and of justice, 
of right and of liberty, we must ever cherish these 
germs of idealism in ourselves and in those about 
us, to the end that on the morrow of this European 
cataclysm they shall be stronger than ever. 

We cannot all do everything, but we can each 
do his own part, that the glory of God shall shine 
day by day with new brightness. 

We have started to free Servia and Belgium, to 
redeem Alsace and Lorraine, to revive Poland : 
in this attempt we have with us all the energies of 
humanity, not only admiring us and urging us on, 
but as it were bound to find themselves in com- 
munion with our spirit, fellow-workers in that 
which we shall achieve. 

The Entente — the Understanding — shall grow 
wider still, and the peace of Europe shall base itself 
on foundations unknown of old. But if^ pn the 

G 67 

The Book of Italy 

other hand, we yield to the temptation of taking 
vengeance on our enemies, wielding against them 
their own weapons, inspiring our own spirits with 
their methods, making anew countries which shall 
claim redemption, repeating the story of Alsace, our 
victory shall be for only a little while, and our peace 
shall have no security but the sword. 

The moral foundations of the Entente — of the 
Understanding — ^must be so stamped in our stan- 
dards that they shall forbid the joining with us of 
any who should plan to make use of our moral 
superiority to limit or to modify the rights and the 
liberties of others. 

It would be terribly dangerous not to realise 
how vast a task we have undertaken. Neither our 
children nor our children's children shall see its 
end. The overthrow of Prussian militarism, the 
humbling of German pride, will be only the begin- 
ning. Then we must go on to determine the causes, 
to fix the responsibility. Then we shall prove 
clearly that the crimes which have filled the whole 
trembling world with amazement and wrath are the 
natural and immediate results of moral mistakes. 

The scientific blindness of those leaders of 
German criticism and science who signed the 
manifesto of the Ninety-three, the want of any 
gleam of conscience, of pity, or of love among their 
cardinals and bishops, as well as among their 
salaried Protestant clergy, who have calmly looked 
on at massacres and sacrileges too horrible for 
words, all spring from the error which makes a 
deity of the Fatherland, and sees in its interests, 
even of the most earthly kind, a supreme end to 

Letter to an Italian Friend 

strive for. These German pitfalls will endanger 
all peoples, but most of all ourselves, now at war, 
when the time shall come for us pitifully to care 
for our own countries, and to do what we may to 
heal their wounds. 

If after victory on the field of battle, we fail to 
win spiritual victory, and to place ideals where they 
truly should be, the heroism of our soldiers will 
have done no more than postpone our own catas- 
trophe for a few years. 

The worship of might and of matter which 
Germany has erected into a State religion has left 
no nation quite free from its allurements. Since we 
are all now arisen together to oppose its triumphal 
progress, let us be well aware of the gigantic task 
we are called on to do. At this moment we embody 
the rise of all humanity toward truth and holiness ; 
and all the strivings, all the fervours, all the hopes 
which leaped in the heart of Francis of Assisi should 
leap in ours. 

The mission imposed on us is to rebuild the 
temple of the ideals which are everlasting : " Vade^ 
Francisce^ et repara domum meam quae tota, ut cernisy 

In this work, which shall consist neither in 
destroying the past nor in restoring it, but in ful- 
filling it and in giving to the new moral and spiritual 
civilisation a strength comparable with that already 
achieved in material things, the chosen people of 
the whole world must work together. Yet you 
will not find it strange, I hope, if the other members 
of the Entente — of the Understanding — turn them- 
selves in full faith towards Italy, reminding them- 


T'he Book of Italy 

selves that Italy is the classic land not only of art 
and of sunshine, but equally of saintliness. 

And we lovers of the spirit of Francis from 
beyond the Alps, we who are your brethren and 
your grateful admirers, we — even more than our 
fellow-countrymen — are certain that the soil of 
Umbria has not lost its richness, and that the land 
which gave the world Saint Benedict, Saint Francis, 
Saint Clara, Brother Giles, Brother Leo, and so 
many more, shall give birth still to devotees of 
the great ideal, in following whose footsteps we may 
breathe out the words : " Roy ate ^ coeli^ desuper et 
nubes pluant justum.'^ 

It will be pleasant to think, dear friends of 
Assisi, that this too long letter of mine will not vex 
you, and that it may seem to you not too unworthy 
of a reading on that sacred soil where the Patriarch 
of Christian Democracy was born, the forerunner 
of a new dispensation. I have not come to speak 
in your midst in this most solemn of times, for I 
am persuaded that you, fellow-citizens of the 
greatest of all the refreshers of the soul who have 
come into being since Christ, have already under- 
stood the vastness of the account to which the new 
Europe shall be called ; and that the little city, 
whereof Dante sung, shall bring to pass the prophecy 
of the deathless poet : 

"... Chi d' esso loco fa parole 
non dica Ascesi, che direbbe corto, 
ma Oriente, se proprio dir vuole." 

Your most loving and happy fellow-citizen, 

Paul Sabatier. 

Translated by Professor Barrett Wendell, 



A THOUGHTFUL traveller in Greece and Italy can 
hardly fail to be struck by the paucity of relics of 
the Middle Ages in the one country, and their 
frequency in the other. In Greece he may journey 
for hours or even days together, without seeing any 
work of man's hand to remind him of the two thou- 
sand years or more which divide the stately remains 
of ancient temples and palaces and fortresses from the 
mean cottages of the modern peasantry. A few — 
a very few — fine Byzantine churches, with their 
mosaics and eikons, the mouldering ruins of Vene- 
tian castles, and monasteries which contrast by 
their squalor and poverty with the natural beauty 
of their surroundings, are almost the only monu- 
ments bequeathed to modern Greece by the cen- 
turies which have enriched modern Italy in profusion 
with all the splendour of mediaeval architecture and 
sculpture and painting. And it is not merely the 
rarity, but the style of the remains of the Middle 
Ages which impresses the mind of a traveller in 
Greek lands with a melancholy sense of artistic and 
national decay. He contrasts the stiff grotesque 
figures and narrow limitations of Byzantine art with 
the noble freedom and variety of ancient Greek 
sculpture ; he turns from the rude masonry of the 


^he Book of Italy 

Venetian castles, their rough Uttle stones hastily 
huddled together without order, to contrast with 
it the massive solidity and beautiful symmetry of 
ancient Greek fortifications, where the great blocks 
are hewn and squared to a nicety and laid together 
in such exact order that it is frequently difficult 
to detect the joinings. Yet these magnificent 
walls often mark the sites of little towns which 
played an insignificant part in Greek history, 
and of which even the names are in many 
cases forgotten. Few things can testify more elo- 
quently to the populousness and wealth, as well as 
to the patriotism, the energy, and the skill of those 
tiny Greek communities, than the ruined but still 
splendid walls and towers by which they sought to 
guard their liberty ; few things can set in a stronger 
light the decline of modern by comparison with 
ancient Greece. It is almost as if in the history of 
the country the Middle Ages had been blotted out, 
or as if from the reign of Justinian to the War of 
Liberation the land had been destitute of human 
inhabitants or tenanted only by flocks and herds 
under the charge of a few wandering shepherds and 

The causes of this long period of intellectual 
and moral stagnation, or rather retrogression, are 
no doubt many and various. By the crushing weight 
of her financial oppression, Rome at once drained 
the material resources and sapped the vital energies 
of the people, while at the same time her world- 
wide dominion, powerfully seconded by the teach- 
ings of a cosmopolitan religion, dissolved the ties 
of purely local patriotism and broke the spring of 

Robert Spence, R.E. 

Modern Italy and Greece 

those civic virtues which that patriotism had fos- 
tered. On the nation, thus impoverished and en- 
feebled, there fell like an incubus the long blight of 
the Turkish dominion, which completed the work 
of degradation and decay. While the Turk as a 
man appears to have many good qualities, which 
win him the esteem of those who know him, the 
Turks as a people are to all intents as unprogressive 
as their own sheep and oxen. They may discard 
the turban for the fez, the yataghan for the bayonet, 
the bow and arrow for the rifle and the machine gun, 
but in the frame of their minds and the circle of 
their ideas they are what their forefathers were, 
when their hordes emerged from the deserts of 
Central Asia and trampled under foot the last 
surviving relics of the Byzantine Empire. In the 
centuries which have elapsed since they established 
their alien rule on European soil, have they con- 
tributed anything to European literature or science 
or art ? Have they produced a single man who is 
known to the world at large for anything but the 
wars he waged or the massacres he ordered ? Since 
the advance of their victorious arms ceased to be 
a menace to European civilisation, Turkey has 
served only as a makeweight in European politics, 
to be thrown from time to time into the scales by 
unscrupulous statesmen in order to trim the balance 
of power or to incline it in their own favour. 

It is one of the many blessings of Italy that she 
has never been subject to the rule of these Asiatic 
barbarians, that the Turk has never gained even a 
foothold on her soil. True, she has bowed her 
neck to the yoke of many northern invaders from 


The Book of Italy ' 

the days of the Goths onward, but barbarous as 
have been many of her conquerors, they have been at 
least more or less akin to her in race and language, 
and some of them have contributed to the glories 
of Italian art, and probably also of Italian literature. 
Certainly these invasions have never for any long 
period together interrupted the course of native 
Italian genius. The fall of the Roman Empire was 
followed by the rise of the. separate Italian states, 
each with its active municipal life, its industries and 
commerce, its local art and literature. And in 
Italy the darkness of the Middle Ages was a prelude 
to the splendid dawn of the Renaissance. The 
sun of ancient learning which set on Constantinople 
rose again on Rome ; the fall of the Byzantine 
Empire scattered the dying embers of Greek scholar- 
ship and blew them up into fresh fire in Italy, 
which handed them on to the West. Hence Italy, 
unlike Greece, is crowded with monuments of the 
Middle Ages, of the Renaissance, and of the fruitful 
centuries which have elapsed since that mighty 
awakening of the European mind ; it is haunted by 
the memories of the great men who in every depart- 
ment of human activity have illuminated ^^and en- 
riched not only their country, but mankind by the 
energy of their character, the range of their know- 
ledge, the originality of their ideas, the light and 
fire of their imagination. The busy marts, the 
great libraries, the magnificent churches, the stately 
palaces, the glowing canvases, the breathing sculp- 
tures in bronze and marble which adorn Italian 
cities, are only the most obvious, because Hhe out- 
ward and visible evidence of that inward spiritual 


3V[odern Italy and Greece 

life, so potent, so varied, so abundant, which has 
animated the Italian people uninterruptedly from 
antiquity till now. What a debt does not the world 
owe to Italian merchants and explorers, to Italian 
artists and craftsmen, to Italian poets and musicians, 
to Italian scholars and thinkers ! Contrast the 
amazing fertility of the Italian genius in mediaeval 
and modern times with the almost absolute sterility 
of the Greek in the same period. Since the final 
separation of the Eastern from the Western Empire, 
what has Greece contributed to the sum of human 
thought, to the progress of human knowledge, to 
the improvement of human society ? If we except 
the legislation of Justinian, which was rather a 
codification of old Roman law than a fresh contri- 
bution to jurisprudence, the Byzantine Empire pro- 
duced nothing of value for the general amelioration 
of our race ; it gave birth to no single great writer 
or philosopher or artist whose influence extended 
far beyond the limits of his native land, and whose 
name the world will not willingly let die. And 
the same blight which sterilised the Greek genius 
through the Byzantine period persisted under the 
Turkish dominion, and has continued with little 
change from the War of Liberation to the present 
day. In literature, in science, in art, the map of 
modern Greece might almost be a blank for all 
that the country has contributed to the higher 
departments of thought, to the noblest activities of 
the human mind. 

In these, as well as in the sphere of politics, Greece 
has been far outstripped by her ancient rival, and 
lives, like Spain, for the world at large chiefly in the 


T'he Book of Italy 

memory of her glorious past. Of the three great 
southern peninsulas which were touched by the 
early beams of civilisation while the rest of Europe 
was still plunged in heathen darkness, Italy alone 
has kept the sacred fire burning on her altars from 
then till now. Naturally one of the most beautiful 
countries on earth, she is historically perhaps the 
most interesting of all, by reason of the long un- 
broken development which links her present to her 
past. She is the golden bridge across which we 
can^ still travel in thought back through the night 
of the Middle Ages to the sunset glory of the 
antique world ; she is like one of her own ancient 
aqueducts which still brings to the heart of the 
Eternal City a current of living water from the 
purple mountains that loom, faint and dim as 
dreams, on the far horizon. Hinc lucem et pocula 

J. G. Frazer. 



Bismarck is said to have observed that Italy was 
only a geographical expression. If he did, the 
remark is merely interesting as proving that even 
the most practical German is only a pedant. That 
is, he is a person radically and incurably incom- 
petent to grasp the real truth about anything. He 
is, indeed, a person all of whose expressions are 
merely geographical expressions. To him the atlas 
is more actual than the earth. Bismarck was much 
more of a failure than a success ; and even that in 
which he succeeded has now come near to destruc- 
tion in forty years. With everything else he failed, 
and failed in a peculiar way ; not merely by under- 
rating his enemy, but by ignoring him. He would 
not see that the Pope was the Pope, or that the 
Poles were the Poles. In such cases he did not 
fall on his enemy like an enemy ; he fell over him 
— like a hassock. And his careful and brutal intelli- 
gence would certainly be quite bewildered if he 
saw the mountains of dead upon the Carso and the 
assaults in the cracks of the Alps, in which his 
geographical expression is now expressing itself. 

In a highly helpless publication called The Con- 
tinental Times y written by Germans for Americans, 
or rather (to speak more strictly) written by idiots 
for idiots, there was a passage threatening St. Mark's 


I'he Book of Italy 

and the other monuments of ItaHan art and piety 
with destruction out of the sky. It attempted to 
justify the course of action by a curious argument 
drawn from the fact that the ItaUans had already 
taken certain precautions to protect them. The 
argument would seem to be that a man is not to 
blame for being a burglar, so long as somebody 
else entertained a strong suspicion that he was a 
burglar. Such subtleties, however, need not de- 
tain us ; for I only mention The Continental Times 
because it further decorated its defence with a fine 
flourish of contempt for " tourists " — who were 
apparently the only people who were interested in 
the existence of Italy. It is true that travellers are 
sometimes to be found beside the grave of Dante 
or the monument of the Medici ; and that these 
are often Teutons. It is true that Italy provides 
the tombs, while Germany provides the tourists ; 
but it has been alleged by some that the tombs 
do not look at the tourists, while the tourists do 
look at the tombs. There will be a good many 
graves in Germany before this business is over ; 
but none of us will go to see them. 

The attitude of the German towards the history 
of Italy is suitable to the simple mind from which 
it sprang. It consists in saying that all great Italians 
were not legitimate Italians, but illegitimate Ger- 
mans. Anonymous German mercenaries of unpre- 
cedented profligacy and omnipresent industry are 
conceived as having provided families for Italians 
of every status and social type. It is quite gravely 
asserted that the irresistible charms of some beery 
captain from the camps of Westphalia or the Rhine- 


Senatore Luca Beltrami, Hon. Mem. R.I.B.A. {Milan] 

Italy and the German Professors 

land must afford the true explanation of the subtlety 
of the Monna Lisa or the silvery sketches of Raphael. 
The supporters of such a theory are not disturbed 
by the reflection that it would be just as easy to sing 
the glory of Africa, by alleging that an escaped negro 
must have been the father of Dickens or Tennyson ; 
and that the incident would be infinitely more 
probable in the case of Emerson or Poe. They are 
not easily disturbed. The absence of evidence is 
to the dry and deductive Latin an obstacle, but to 
the creative Teuton an opportunity. Besides, the 
German professors do not wholly disdain to offer 
evidence, like gods condescending to work an occa- 
sional miracle fitted for the frailty of men. Need- 
less to say, their evidence, when they do give it, is 
as crushing as any miracle. Thus, Herr Woltmann 
actually saw the photograph of a picture of a crowd 
which contains a head which is said to have been 
meant for Benvenuto Cellini. And " to judge from 
the photograph, the eyes are light in colour, pre- 
sumably blue, as blue eyes alone are wont to give in 
photography so light a reflex." There is a piece of 
patient German research for you ! There is nothing 
like going to the original authorities. And if some- 
body thought somebody had painted Cellini's eyes 
as blue, then they were blue ; and if they were blue 
his father was a German and his mother an un- 
desirable person. Or again, Herr Woltmann found 
out, by similarly close and laborious researches, 
that Michael Angelo's name was Buonarotti. And 
he says, ** Corresponding names are Macarodt, 
Ostereth, Leonard." If you or I had a son called 
Leonard, we should not perhaps fully realise that we 


T'he Book of Italy 

had called him Macarodt ; or if we had been so 
misguided as to call our dog Ostereth, we should 
scarcely be surprised if he did not answer to the 
name of Buonarotti. But when we have added to 
this the fact that Michael Angelo was " of well- 
built body, sinewy and bony rather than fleshy 
and fat, sound, more than anything else, both by 
nature, by bodily exercise, and by abstinence, though 
as a child he was weakly and subject to fits," we 
feel somehow led on, we know not how, to a soul- 
moving and mysterious conviction that Michael 
Angelo was a German. The same principle is 
applied to Leonardo da Vinci, whose mother was 
" a robust and sound stamp of humanity,'' and 
therefore of German humanity ; and to Raphael, 
who " in his youth had light blond hair and bluish 
eyes, but with advancing age hair and eyes assumed 
a somewhat darker shading ; " a transition quite 
unknown outside the Germanics. 

I have given some examples of this singular 
style in Italian history, because it is very largely 
upon towers of such trash that the whole huge 
edifice of Prussian scholarly prestige is erected. 
But it is still worth asking why it is that Italy has 
been so specially the playground of German pedants, 
as of German pleasure-seekers. After all, even 
such a lunatic as Woltmann would be a little bit 
staggered by the task of appropriating all the great 
men of a more settled and less varied nation. It is 
true that Mr. Houston Chamberlain calls Pascal 
" the true Germanic Lorrainer," and that Pascal 
was no more German than Houston Chamberlain 
himself. It is true that the German critics seem to 

Italy and the German Professors 

treat Shakespeare as a German poet — ^that is, as 
something very Hke a madman. But a faint sense 
of the comic might creep even into the German 
mind if, let us say, all the dramatists of the Eliza- 
bethan age, or all the orators of the French Revolu- 
tion, were similarly proved to have been Germans. 
When we have reflected upon what is the reality 
behind this fantastic difference of treatment, we 
shall have partially discovered the great romance of 
modern Italy. 

So far from its being the fact that wandering 
Germans have founded all the greatness of Italy, 
the truth is that wandering Italians have very largely 
founded the greatness that is to be discovered every- 
where else. An Italian carried the French Revolu- 
tion to its triumph over all the tyrannies of the 
world. An Italian carried the first ship of Spain 
to the new worlds which were to become the 
Spanish Empire. Again and again, in every corner 
of Europe, you will find the laying out of a garden 
or the erection of an observatory, a type of lyric, or 
a use of electricity ; and if you ask for the name to 
which it is owing, you will be answered in the 
Italian tongue. That flaming figure who was to 
our own immediate English fathers something almost 
dearer and more national than their own country, 
that figure in the red romantic shirt which filled 
with shouting the London streets, was typical of 
the country he recreated in a manner that extended 
beyond its borders. Garibaldi was not only Italian 
in his valour, his swiftness, his strong loves, and his 
impetuous and unconscious dignity. He was, as it 
were, Italian in his omnipresence ; in that restless 


T'he Book of Italy 

ubiquity which sent him, now to fight under the 
suns of South America, now to plead in London 
for the plundered fields of Denmark, now to take 
his station under the last tricolour of France that 
floated in the Terrible Year. And the meaning of 
modern Italy, of United Italy, of Italy a Nation, is 
this : It means that all these torrid streams of brain 
and blood that have everywhere turned so many 
mills, and borne so many ships of mankind, will 
now flow together to one end, and that their own. 
The Napoleon of the future will lead Italian armies. 
The Columbus of the future will lead Italian ships. 
And the world will see again the volcano and the 
harvest of the Italian soul, and the reinvigoration 
of that ancient and universal vine whose root is in 

G. K. Chesterton. 



I ONCE knew an old Italian painter, a Roman 
Republican, who had fought for Italian Unity and 
lived to see it accomplished. Yet, when one spoke 
of the success of the Risorgimento^ and the great 
achievements of the new Italy in every high branch 
of human endeavour, the old man frowned. He was 
dissatisfied ; the cabals, the politicians, the slipshod 
management of public works, the absorption of 
the people in money-getting and petty cares. . . . 
" But all this,'' we told him, '* could be said, and 
is said, against every country in the world. Are you 
disappointed because Italy has a King instead of a 
Republic .? " " No," he said. " We have a King 
who is much too good for us. It is that we have 
not suffered enough." *' Not suffered ? But you 
were talking just now of the hardship of the peasants' 
lives, of the heavy taxes. ..." '* That is not what 
I call suffering," he would answer. " We suffered 
under the Austrians and the Bourbons ; we suffered 
in the long struggle for our freedom. But it was 
not enough to purify us. We are a materialist 
nation ; a materialist nation, like all the others ! 
. . . Taxes, earthquakes, poverty, quarrelling among 
ourselves — all that is no good. We need more 
suffering of the old Risorgimento sort, suffering for a 
Cause, where each man works and dies, not for him- 
self, but for Italy and Humanity." 

H 83 

The Book of Italy 

I like to think how my friend's severe old face 
would have softened and lit up if he had lived to 
see the doings of 191 5. If he could have seen 
Italy standing for a time at the cross-roads, with 
every excuse for remaining passive for ever ; and 
then, deliberately and almost with one voice, de- 
ciding, in spite of all obstacles, for the road of 
sacrifice which is also the road of honour. On one 
side lay ease and comfort, material advantage and 
apparent safety, or at least a long postponement 
of the time of peril. It needed only that Italy 
should forget her ideals and be content, let freedom 
and public faith be destroyed to right and to left 
of her, and then, when all was safe, make friends 
with the conqueror. And on the other side lay 
every sort of danger, every hardship and suffering 
and the certainty of deaths innumerable, a long 
struggle and a doubtful issue ; only, whatever the 
end might be, Italy would stand in her true place 
among the great nations ; the sons and the mothers 
of Italy would have given their lives and their 
hearts to a cause greater than themselves. 

The world in these years is deciding a tremendous 
issue, and no one yet knows which side will prevail. 
It is not merely one nation against another ; it is 
one religion against another. For the salvation of 
Germany herself, or what is best in her, depends on 
the victory of her enemies. The end must be 
either the establishment of common freedom for 
all nations, of good faith and honesty and human 
kindliness, and all that we have hitherto considered 
holy among men ; or else of a new form of Evil 
enthroned, a new tyranny such as humanity has 



R. Amiing Bell, A.R.A. 

3^agna Parens 

never seen, the rule of the war-machine and the 
poison-gas, and of men who make it part of their 
ideal to be as inhuman as the one and as treacherous 
as the other. 

Almost all nations know by this time what the 
issue is. Some, no doubt, for reasons good or bad, 
still hesitate. Their weakness, their exposed posi- 
tion, their mixed population, or their peculiar 
scruples, lead them still to remain outside the con- 
flict, to forgive offences against themselves, and 
condone crimes against others, in the hope of pre- 
serving amiable relations with both sides. They 
are the best judges in their own case, and we wish 
them all prosperity. Let them by all means pre- 
serve their safety if they cannot also preserve their 
full honour. But for Italy there was only one 
road, and that a hard and uphill road, if she was to 
be her true self, the Italy of Garibaldi and Mazzini 
and Victor Emmanuel, of Dante and Virgil ; the 
Magna Parens Virum ; the Torchbearer of nations, 
who awakened the modern world from its slumber 
and keeps alive the great beacon of republican 
Rome. It is the road of sacrifice and of freedom ; 
may it be also the road of victory ! 

Gilbert Murray. 

September 7, 19 15. 



The Demon of War suffers, as he has caused 
millions to suffer. There is no pity for him, Justice 
has done her work, Christ the Crucified has not 
shed His blood for this monster. He, the Prince 
of Peace, bears no love for the son of Satan. 

Upon the edge of the flaming pit there stand 
some of the wise men of immortal memory, men 
whose lives and works have guided the progress of 
true civilisation into the noblest regions of thought. 

High-minded Homer ; God's messenger from 
Sinai, patient Moses ; truthful Socrates ; the 
highest in subtle intellect, Aristotle ; sweetest of 
Roman singers, Virgil ; grave patriot, Dante. 

These Princes of real culture see that Justice 
has been done, that the would-be destroyer of 
Liberty has received the punishment for unfor- 
givable crimes. 

I dedicate this design to the great Italian people 
who won their liberty, and are fighting for an Ideal. 

W. B. Richmond. 

September 21, 191 5. 


Sir William B. Richmond, K.C.B., R.A. 


One wonders, as he gazes at them shining brightly 
in the sky, as tranquil as though peace still brooded 
over the earth. Beneath them sail the Zeppelins, 
hurling bombs that dismember women and children, 
bombs that fall alike on cathedral, church, and syna- 
gogue, bombs that kill the little ones to whom God 
has just granted life. In the empyrean, set in their 
eternal places, the stars shine on. 

A hundred years hence — fifty, nay, even twenty- 
five — all that is happening to-day will be recorded 
in cold black and white, will have ceased to be a 
memory, will have become a mere stilted diary of 
fact. Kaisers, generals, admirals, statesmen, will be 
dust that mingles with the other dust, fragments 
of nothingness in the vast silence. In five years, 
tourists will go in char-a-bancs to the scenes of 
dreadful slaughter, will eat sandwiches and empty 
flasks where to-day men are dying in their 
thousands. Fields will be tilled again that now are 
rocky burial-grounds ; tears will have dried, the 
dead will be forgotten. The dead will lie in their 
graves, the living will go about their daily affairs ; 
men and women will marry and beget children, 
who, in their turn, will gaze at the stars and die. 
Do these things matter, to the stars ? 

The Grand Rabbi of Lyons was helping to carry 
a wounded soldier to the ambulance when another, 


T'he Book of Italy 

who was dying, mistook him for a Catholic priest, 
and prayed for absolution. The Rabbi rushed in 
search of a crucifix, found one, and pressed it to the 
dying man's lips, murmuring words of comfort. 
And then a shell came, and they died together, and 
went to the one God whom they both worshipped. 
The Rabbi was a good man, but this was surely 
the most sublime act of all his life — and in doing 
it he was killed. Why not ? Is it not well to die 
when one has performed his sublimest act ? And 
the war has brought us nearer to the sublime. . . . 

Up above, somewhere, perhaps, the order was 
given. To us, creatures of an hour, it seems in- 
credible that so vast a catastrophe should not have 
had its extra-human warrant. As the betinselled 
Lord of Potsdam stood there, hesitating in his palace, 
was there not the finger of God that moved the 
clock ? He who has allowed plague and earth- 
quake, dreadful shipwreck, cholera, yellow fever — 
surely He has also allowed this war ! Not the God 
you pray to, Kaiser — but the God of all mankind 
and all eternity. The soul of man had become 
thick and clogged, perhaps — it needed cleansing. 
Men knew too much, and cared too little. The 
Scheme of Things, desiring the better, has plunged 
the world into the melting-pot, to fashion it anew. 
And if some millions die a year or two before they 
would have died, if havoc stalks across the lives of 
those who yet remain — does all this matter to the 
Scheme of Things ? 

It is better to believe that than to tell oneself 
that there is no God. Better to turn one's eyes 
from the reeking, mourning earth, and raise them 

The Indifferent Stars 

up on high, and say, It is Thy will. Nor will those 
who believe this pray for victory, but for tranquil 
acquiescence only, and for power to do the right. 
To Him above there are no Allies and no enemy, 
but only souls of men. Do frontiers concern the 
Maker of the Universe, the Evolver of Suns ? But 
the soul of man is as important as a million suns ; 
and it is the soul of man that will emerge triumph- 
ant from this war. 

" GoTT MIT UNS ! " cries the German. No. He 
has yet to learn. Darkness has crept over him ; he 
clamours and shouts in vain. The material con- 
quest will come later, when the lands he has won 
are wrested from him, his own territory invaded, 
and terms of peace dictated to him in his capital. 
But even to-day he is overwhelmed. For the war 
has brought him nothing, has gained him nothing. 
In his mad passion for victory, he has damned his 
soul ; he has been unjust and cruel. Treachery 
and useless slaughter, foul betrayal and slimy arti- 
fice — ^he has craved God's help for these. The 
night creeps over Germany — the night that comes 
from the darkness of mind. 

And yet the stars shine on, over Germany as 
over Belgium, the land of magnificent sacrifice and 
undying heroism. In the deepfblue sky of Italy, 
over the fair fields of France, in the great spaces of 
Russia, above the Zeppelin-haunted coasts of Eng- 
land, all men raise their eyes to the stars — ^we, the 
Allies, as they, the foe. And the stars, that have 
seen this earth begin, as they will see it end, per- 
form their allotted task in the harmony of the 
spheres. So shall we, in our degree, do what we 


T'he Book of Italy 

have to do. First, conquer, and then learn. 
Learn the lesson that the war will have taught 
us, that will have been written in the life-blood of 
thousands of heroes — the lesson that there must be 
an end to indifference and selfishness, of nations 
as of individuals, and that there can be no peace 
in the world till all the peoples of the world are free. 

' Alfred Sutro. 



Each one will fashion heaven as he may 
Of joy or laughter at his soul's behest, 
Or painless sleep, if painless sleep be best, 

In sweet fruition of God's holiday ; 

Nay, some have dreamt of love and war's array, 
Storm-driven battle, lances set in rest. 
White limbs, white arms, to beating bosoms 

And all that maddens life, prolonged alway. 

I know not, I. I only crave for peace. 
Peace which this world to our sick hearts denies ; 
When all the baser springs of life which move 

Men's souls to envy, spite, mistrust, may cease ; 
When each may be himself without disguise, 
And find his brother worthy of his love. 

W. L. Courtney. 



Just as, in the course of a long life, I have been 
able to watch Germany, once a pleasant country 
inhabited by easy-going dreamers whose visions 
took concrete shape in Faust, the Ninth Symphony, 
or Parsifal, change into a nation of vulgar parvenus 
filled with blood-lust, whose imaginings reek with 
horrors, and whose deeds form a catalogue of 
unmentionable crimes, so I have been privileged — 
by way of compensation, perhaps — to see the swift 
transformation of Italy from a restless sleeper, 
shaken by dreams of unity and freedom, into a 
kingdom seething with young enthusiasms, eager 
to be the first in civilised progress, and, above all, 
burning with patriotism. I stood, a very small 
boy, in the Piazza at Venice when the band of the 
Austrian garrison played, and no Venetian, for all 
his love of music, would listen ; I knelt in Rome, 
to be blessed by gentle Pio Nono when he was both 
temporal and spiritual sovereign. Venice was dead, 
and Rome was dead ; the country was overrun with 
outlaws ; the great cities — Milan, Turin, Genoa, 
Bologna, Florence — were paralysed ; their streets half 
empty, their palaces deserted : beautiful, yes — how 
could any Italian city ever be anything but beautiful ? 
—but beautiful with the beauty of a lovely woman 
wasting away in silent sorrow. This was the Italy of 
the smaller fry of writing people. Not the Italy 

Confessio Amantis 

of Byron or Swinburne, but of the essayists, the 
criticasters, the styHsts who could not understand 
that great art is the outcome of great commercial 
prosperity, of great national activity. They seemed 
to think that St. Mark's was built by idle fisher- 
folk engrossed in nothing but its building. They 
seemed not to understand that before St. Mark's 
could be built a wealthy and vigorous community 
had to be organised. They went through Italy 
thinking they could sum it up in a well-turned 
phrase, and with that phrase they achieved a modest 
glory at suburban tea-parties. They owned Italy, and 
if an Italian city dared look after its drainage, they 
raised despairing hands to heaven, jabbered about 
sacrilege, and wrote to the Times, Italy was the bric- 
a-brac shop of the world. The world shed elegant 
tears over it, sentimentalised it, apostrophised it in 
anaemic verse, and even more anaemic prose, not for 
what it was, but for what it had been, and spoke of 
it as we speak of a beautiful, half-witted child, who 
must be admired for its beauty and pitied for its 

The old Italy exists. It is still the land of 
beauty and of romance ; the land of antiquity, 
where the dust on the highway is the dust of 
temples, perhaps the dust of Caesar himself. It is 
still the epitome of the world's history ; the land 
from which all others have derived their civilisation, 
their art, their literature, and their music. While all 
the rest of the world was wearing woad and fight- 
ing with clubs and flint arrows, Italy went clad in 
purple, built St. Mark's, and painted its houses in 
fresco. When all the world ate with its fingers, 


T'he Book of Italy 

Italy used forks. There was, one may say, never 
a period of uncivilisation in Italy from the day 
when Pius ^neas landed on her shores. Now 
all this ancient civilisation, this matured wisdom, 
this vast experience of life, has burst into new 
blossom. Upon their passionate love of the past 
the Italians have grafted an equally passionate 
eagerness for the present, an equally passionate 
striving towards the future. Yet even now the 
Italian spirit is pre-eminently the spirit of poetry, 
but of poetry transmuted into action. Is not the 
man who imagined wireless telegraphy a poet ? 
The Italians are the scientists, the engineers, the 
mathematicians of the world. They have levelled 
the Alps ; they have annihilated space ; they are the 
road builders, the bridge builders, the builders of 
improbable roads in Switzerland, of unimaginable 
bridges, attributed to the devil because only the 
devil or an Italian could have thought of them. 
They are the indefatigable toilers who accomplish 
more in a day on a handful of maize than six of us 
could compass on six beefsteaks and six pots of 
stout. Whenever a thing has to be done which 
it is manifestly impossible to do, the Italians are 
called in to do it, and it is done with a smile. Their 
soldiers carry cannon up perpendicular precipices, 
singing " La Donna e mobile " the while. Their 
cavalry ride down perpendicular precipices, and 
pluck Edelweiss on the way ; in the midst of this 
toil their hearts will glow like hot coals at the call 
of their poets — and their poets fling their messages 
from an aeroplane. 

Italy's heart is the heart of chivalry. She could 


Confessio Amantis 

have won all she wanted by sitting with her hands 
folded and watching the internecine struggle around 
her. She might have waited to strike until her 
enemy had received her death-blow. But, no. 
" Louvain " and " Lusitania " were trumpet-calls, 
and Italy did not stop to ask whether the moment 
were well chosen, or her interference expedient. 
She blazed up with a sacred anger, and, led by her 
hero king, and comforted by her saintly queen, 
she rushed into the fight for the good cause : let 
come what might. 

It is good to know that among the weary nations 
there is one nation filled with the ardour of youth, 
striving after an ideal without counting the cost, 
ready to spend her blood in the cause of humanity. 
The Italy we all love for her beauty, her amenities, 
her hospitality, is also the Italy whose self-sacri- 
ficing heroism we admire without stint. Evviva 
V Italia ! 

Louis N. Parker. 



The hearth of dawn is burning on the sea, 
Night's purple pales, and swift the pallor turns 
To amber and to amaranth ; light yearns 
Along the liquid dark. In raiment free, 
Wrought of wind-shotten flame, on golden arms, 
Morning, the Mother, lifts her babe and charms 
The young day's wondering eyes with Italy. 

He sees the jewelled turmoil of the shore. 
The cornice and the cavern of each wave. 
The wakened deep, where flashing sun-stars pave 
The pathless places, and the hollow, hoar. 
Old billows beating out on shell and sand 
Their song, that stilleth not since sea and land 
Were parted, in the primal time of yore. 

Above the beach, by terraces that still 
Twine upward, where low cliff^s betray the light, 
A town of many turrets — ^grey and white — 
Springs clustered close, as though one only will 
That dreamed in pearl and opal, here had brought 
This glimmering wonder of incarnate thought, 
Like a dim rainbow arching on the hill. 

All checked and dappled, the vibrating light 
Rides on an aureole of waxing fire. 
By arch and arboured roof, by dome and spire, 
Along the fleeting watches of the night. 
Morning doth jewel every shrine ; the wells 
Glitter with wide, wet mouths ; and little bells 
Shrill from the campanile's rosy height. 


Italian Morning 

Beyond, the fringes of the mountain bare 
For vine and citron ; all the terraced earth 
Smiles like a bride beneath her bloom veil. Mirth 
Of silver-petalled cherry, almond, pear 
Rains on the roses ; and the olive mills 
Darken the river with their wine-red rills. 
The great reed's silky whisper rises there. 

Beheld afar, the villages elate. 
In garb of lavender and buff and blue, 
Spattered with rust and russet and the hue 
Of honey, wake and shine. By ruined gate 
The laden branches of the lemon fall 
And over faded tiles and mossy wall 
Spring aigrettes of the golden-fruited date. 

Aloft the far-flung orchards thinly float 

Their smoke upon the mountains. In a cloud 

The dim, innumerable olives shroud 

With misty jade each bosomed hill remote. 

The wrinkled, lion-coloured earth they fold 

In crumpled undulations, like an old 

Grey coverlet dragged to an ancient throat. 

And where they cease upon the slopes, anew 
Earth lifts aloft her tawny, lean-ribbed breast 
In precipice and pinnacle, all dressed 
With myrtle, mastic, rosemary, and rue. 
For fragrant girdles round the upper world. 
And twinkling down are lonely torrents hurled 
In threads of fire against the shadowy blue. 


T'he Book of Italy < 

Follow the far-flung, closely-knitted pelts 
Of forest pines that throng the higher steep 
And clasp and cling and never fail to keep 
The mighty mould beneath them. Cloudy belts, 
Red on the ridge and purple in the glen, 
Circle each crag and hide from every ken 
Their lifted foreheads, where the morning melts. 

The billows of the still white cumuli 

Float in thin ripples, and the sunrise spreads 

With many a loop of fire about the heads 

Of solemn mountains, where they lift on high 

And spire upon their silent canopy. 

And join the silver-feathered, sapphire sea. 

Unto the silver-feathered, sapphire sky. 

A blessing to thy borders, land of light ! 
Spirit of man, brave as the morning, found 
His charter sanctified on this good ground 
When Liberty fore-glowed along the night. 
Then heroes sang her glad epiphany. 
And eagle legions soared aloft to dye 
Their feathers in the dawning of her might. 

Oh, by the morn upon thine inland sea. 

By waves and hills that roll and lights that rove. 

To finger foam and forest with pure love. 

Forget not thine immortal history. 

By the wide dayspring on thy crowns of snow 

And by the beacon of thine own heart's glow, 

Again be fearless and again be free. 

Eden Phillpotts. 



Parole di Musica di 

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In the midst of this appaUing catastrophe, when in 
the evening of the day I turn, as it were for con- 
solation, to all I have known and loved in Europe, 
and above all to Italy, of all those beloved landscapes 
from which I am an exile, it is the Campagna which 
most often comes back into my mind, the Cam- 
pagna in which Rome lies like a ship in the midst 
of the sea. 

That immense and universal thing alone seems 
able to face what has befallen us. You may find 
there always all that is in your heart. It has, too, 
the indefinite beauty of all supernatural things ; 
and if you speak of it you must speak of it in images, 
with vague words of beauty and mystery and love, 
as of a place seen in a vision, as the English speak 
of the sea. For as the sea is the secret of England, 
so the Campagna is the secret of Rome ; it haunts 
the City, and the mystery and largeness of its silence 
are the springs of her immortality. All the great 
ways lead to it at last, and it surges against every 

All unaware of this world of inviolate silence, 
which guards the Eternal City as no other city 
was ever guarded, you catch sight of it first, perhaps 
at evening from the Pincio, or in the early morning 
from the Janiculum, or at noonday from the bizarre 
portals of S. Giovanni in Laterano, or at sunset 


T'he Book of Italy 

from the quietness of the Aventine. From wher- 
ever you first see it, it calls you instantly in its 
solemn immensity, its vast indwelling strength, its 
ruined splendour, across which the broken arches 
of the aqueducts stagger still, and the vague white 
roads lined with empty and rifled tombs wander 
aimlessly, losing themselves in the silence and vast- 
ness that only the mountains may contain. And it 
is the mountains which hem in the Campagna, the 
most beautiful mountains in the world. 

Though it were without history or renown and 
man had given it no name, this unbroken wilderness 
would yet hold us by reason of the splendour of its 
form, its vastness and silence, the breadth of its 
undulations, the transparency of its light, the beauty 
of its colour, the nobility of the mountains which 
contain it. But seeing that it is the cradle of our 
history, and that its name is Latium — to look upon 
it rouses within us much the same emotion as that 
with which, after long absence, we look upon our 
home. Nothing that man has dared to do or to 
think, no sorrow he has suffered, nor passion he has 
endured or conquered, his profoundest desires, his 
most tenacious hate, his most splendid domination, 
his most marvellous love, nothing that is his, is a 
stranger here. Of all those forces and energies, it is 
a monument, the grandest and the most terrible, the 
monument of man — a vast graveyard. 

It is this we come to realise at last, as day after 
day, week after week, we pass along that ancient 
Appian Way, between the crumbling tombs. Here 
and there we may find them still, the likeness of our 
brother carved in relief, some thought of his about 

I'he Book of Italy 

from the quietness of the Avniuuc, From wU' - 
ever you first see it, it calls you instantly xu \xs 
solemn immensity, its vast indwelling 'Strength, \%% 
ruined splendour, across which the br arches 

of the aqueducts stagger still, and the v;ii 
roads lined with empty and rifled tombc. 
aimlessly, losing themselves in the silence aui 
ness that only the mountains may contain. And it 
is the mountains which hem in the Campagna, the 
most beautiful mountains in the world. 

Though it were without history or renown and 
man had given it no name, this unbroken wilderness, 
would yet hold us by reason of the splendour of its 
form, its ' ' -th of its 

unduiatioiic, . .. ^i(" w^-^-.^ir^r 

of its'^C0F(?I?r,'^tl?^^j6!1f^' CAMPAGNA KOM^NA 

contaiij it. But igglft^^m^ ^^rl^> t. :t our 

history, and that its name is Latium — tu iook upon 
it rouses within us much the same emotion as that 
with which, after long absence, we look upon our 
home. Nothing that man has dared to do or to 
think, no sorrow he has suffered, nor passion he has 
endured or conquered, his profoundest desires, his 
most tenacious hate, his m^ ^^- 'did domination, 
his most marvellous love, ^, hat is his, is a 

stranger here. Of all those forces and energies, it is 
a monument, the grandest and the most terrible, the 
monument of man — a vast ard. 

It is this we come to ...... at last, as day after 

day, week after week, we pass along that ancient 
Appian Way, between the crumbling tombs. Here 
and there we may find them still, th '^ ess of our 
brother carved in relief, some though w his about 

T'he Campagna 

it all, a few Latin words, part of an inscription, 
half hidden with the grass and the flowers. And as 
night overtakes us on that marvellous road, when 
the splendour of sunset is faded, and the stars 
one by one have scattered the heavens with hope, 
our thoughts turn almost in self-defence in that 
solemn stillness, from death to resurrection. In the 
immense silence that nothing may break the 
imagination sinks beneath the lonely majesty of 
that desert, littered with the monsters of old for- 
gotten religions, full of the dead things of Paganism 
and Christianity, the bones of saints, the mighty 
trunks of forgotten gods. 

What more is there to come out of that vast 
grave, that marvellous solitude } 

Edward Hutton. 



April zoth 

From orchards of silver the wryneck is calling, 
Is calling his mate, who is now overdue ; 

From the high campanile, mid cypresses soaring. 
The bells of Varenna ring out through the blue. 

Oh bells of Varenna, continue your ringing ; 

The leaves are not stirring, the breeze has gone 
down : 
You alone are of silver, sweet bells of Varenna, 

The silvery olives have darkened to brown. 

The bells have ceased ringing, and silence has fallen 
Upon the grey roofs of the little old town. 

But far o'er the water, the boatmen are singing 
To their labouring oars as they ply up and down. 

The voice of the oarsman, in far away echoes. 
Has fainted and died in the shadowy blue. 

But still from the olives the wryneck is calling. 
Is calling his mate, who is now overdue. 

J. W. W. 

Note. — ^The Wryneck (cuckoo's mate) arrives in April about the same 
time as the cuckoo. 

" The Parish Church of Varenna possesses a singularly musical peal of 
bells, which are said to be largely composed of silver." Guide Book. 


/. Walter West, R.W.S. 


** Ecco la Verde ! " remarked the Sindaco of Mon- 
tagneta to Don Piddu, the chemist, as Miss Fanny 
Green, tall, angular, and fifty if she was a day, walked ^ 
by and took her way down the Corso, nodding, and 
smiling out of her long pale face to the Sicilians 
who stood at their shop doors, or enjoyed the air 
of evening seated on chairs set out upon the pave- 

** She is a good creature," he added. " Thin 
as a bit of macaroni, but with a beautiful heart. 
Ma-donna ! " 

He cleared his throat thunderously and spat 
upon the floor, then drew his shawl more closely 
over his shoulders. 

The chemist, a dark man with a long nose, 
stared^ after Miss Fanny. 

** E una grande millionaria ! " he remarked re- 

And his eyes became mysterious, as if they peeped 
into Aladdin's cave. 

" Si, si ! " returned the Sindaco. '' They say 
her property in England is magnificent — a castle, a 
true castle. All is ready for her ; the beds made, 
the fires lighted, the kettle boiling for tea. But 
she will never go back." 


T'he Book of Italy 

" No," murmured Don Piddu. " La Verde will 
never go back. She is too fond of Montagneta/' 


When Miss Fanny Green was well over forty 
something happened in her life. A distant relative 
had the grace to seek a better world unexpectedly, 
and to leave Miss Fanny — so she was called in the 
Kentish village where she had lived till that moment 
on two hundred a year — a fortune bringing in two 
hundred a month. She was alone in the world ; 
she had never travelled abroad ; but she had 
always been fond of languages and a voracious 
reader of books of adventure. 

" If I should ever travel ! " she had sometimes 
thought, as she sat alone in her neat cottage — ^the 
" true castle " of the Sindaco — ^which looked out 
on the village green. 

And she had dreamed — till the pollarded elms by 
the roadside turned into palm trees, till the pond 
covered with duckweed became a mirage-lake trem- 
bling on an enchanted horizon, and the path between 
the blackberry bushes beyond it a way leading into 
some tropical paradise. 

In truth Miss Fanny was a dreamer beset with 
the dreamer's longing for happiness, and when, at 
well over forty, she found herself almost rich, her 
dreams caught her by the hand, and cried to her with 
elfin voices, " Away ! Away ! " She blushed. For 
a moment she w^as bewildered and felt almost guilty 
and sought to resist. But something independent 
whispered to her, *' Why not ? " 


''La Verde'' 

And so it came about that one morning the 
village people found Yew Cottage shuttered and 

" Wherever's Miss Fanny ? " they asked. 

And from the post office came the tremendous 
answer : 

" Miss Fanny's took it in her head to go off to 

** Italy ! Whatever should Miss Fanny do in 
Italy at her age ? " 

But the only reply to this inquiry was the equi- 
valent in EngUsh of " Chi lo sa ? " 


Something led Miss Fanny on farther even than 
Italy, though in Italy she first heard the beating of 
the divine wings. When at evening she listened to 
the songs of the boatmen under the garden wall of 
Villa D'Este, when the chiming of the Venice bells 
trembled to her over the golden waters of the 
laguna morta, when she watched from the Pincio 
the dying light upon Monte Mario, and saw Capri, 
like a siren, rising out of the mists of dawn, she 
knew that the world of her dreams was but the 
vision of a reality. And the South enticed her. 
For as she went South she felt as if she were draw- 
ing nearer and nearer to the home of the Golden 
Sprite. She crossed over the sea into Sicily ; she 
arrived in Montagneta, and she said to herself : 

" It is here." 

She came to Montagneta to stay for a week. 
Now she had lived there for years. She was an 


T'he Book of Italy 

institution in the lovely hill village which looked 
upon Etna and the sea. No longer Miss Fanny, 
she had become " La Verde." 

This title had come to her from Pancrazio, the 
waiter at the hotel where she had stayed before she 
took a house. 

Pancrazio had inquired her name. 

" Miss Fanny Green.'' 

" Meesi Grinni } " 

" Green — ^Verde," she had explained. " Green 
is the English for Verde." 

" La Signorina Verde .? " 

" SI ! " 

And from that moment Miss Fanny had had a 
new name. 


One day, after Miss Fanny had lived in Mon- 
tagneta rather more than five years, a tragedy 
occurred. Don Marco, the doctor, a stout young 
man just over thirty, who wore an immense mous- 
tache, and swaggered from the hips in walking, 
abruptly proposed to her. 

She was greatly taken aback, was indeed almost 
frightened by this quite new experience. No man 
had ever said he loved her before, and Don Marco 
behaved like a volcano. Without even a preliminary 
grumble of warning he suddenly let loose a lava- 
stream of burning words, and his protestations 
rose, like flame and smoke, to the heavens. 

Miss Fanny refused him. She wasn't a fool, 
and she looked upon Don Marco as almost a boy, 
in spite of the enormous moustache. She refused 

''La Ferde'' 

him very quietly, and reasonably, and kindly, 
thanking him for the compliment he had paid her, 
and hoping that he would not deprive her of his 
ministrations when she had a slight cold, or was 
afflicted with a sick headache. 

But when he was gone she retired to her bedroom 
from the eager solicitude of her devoted Sicilian 
servants (who of course knew all that had happened), 
and she cried a little. Not that she wanted to 
marry Don Marco ! But he had found such elo- 
quence in the heat of his desire ; his large eyes had 
emitted such yellow gleams ; such sonorous tones 
had rolled out of his ample throat 1 He had been 
like Cai-uso and a fiery furnace fused together. 

And — it was the very first time ! 

Any woman would have been shaken. 

Miss Fanny sought for the bottle of eau de 

That night in the Piazza it was known — " La 
Verde non vuole marito." 

Years slipped by. Miss Fanny still lived at 
Montagneta. She never visited England, for she 
had yielded her heart to the land of her adoption, 
to the land which had given her the truth of some 
of her dreams. In the great heats of summer she 
went high up into the mountains, to Castro Gio- 
vanni, where Persephone wandered and was carried 
away, and where one may see children with silver- 
coloured eyes. All the rest of each year she passed 
at Montagneta. She still looked unmistakably 

K 115 

^he Book of Italy 

English, but she had learnt to speak Sicilian as well 
as Italian ; she ate Sicilian dishes and she loved 
Sicilian ways. At the neighbouring village fairs 
she was generally to be seen mounted upon her 
donkey, Napoleone. She laid money upon the 
painted wooden lap of San Giorgio when he held 
court at Castel Mola ; on mild and balmy evenings 
peasant boys often danced the tarantella upon her 
terrace ; two or three times a year the village 
" musics '' — there were two of them and the rivalry 
between them was bitter — serenaded her and received 
handsome contributions to their funds ; in Carnival 
time she " assisted " at the Veglioni in a box ; on 
Christmas Eve she threw flowers to " the Bambino " 
as He went by in procession, laid a brand upon 
the bonfire which was lighted in His honour, and 
heard the Pastorale at midnight in the Duomo. 

" La Verde h una vera Siciliana ! " said the 
people of Montagneta. 

And many of them really cared for her, because 
she loved them as they were, and did not wish to 
change them. For the people of Sicily are quick 
to read the characters and the hearts of those who 
come among them, and they give affection only in 
return for affection ! The thin Englishwoman like 
a bit of macaroni had found the way to their hearts. 
She respected their ways, and did not wish to 
impose hers upon them. 

** fe veramente una donna distinta, una donna per 
bene 1 " was said of her by all in Montagneta. 

Even Don Marco, long since married to a dark 
little lady with a nice little dot from Catania — even 
Don Marco subscribed to the general opinion. He 


The Book of Italy 

English, but she had learnt to ^-^-'-^ ^ 

as Italian ; she ate Sicilian 

Sicilian ways. At the neighbounng vil: 

she was generally to be seen mount 

donkey, Napoleone. She laid money up* 

painted wooden lap of San Giorgio when ^^^ ' 

court at Castel Mola ; on mild and balm} 

peasant boys often danced the tarantella upon her 

terrace ; two or three times a year the village 

" musics " — ^there were two of them and the rivalry 

between them was bitter — serenaded her and received 

handsome contributions to their funds ; in Carnival 

time she " assisted " at the Vqghoni in a box ; on 

Christmas Eve she O ' to '''' the Bambino *' 

as He went by in ....,>_^ ,-...^, laid a brand upon 

the bonfire wMch was lighted in His honour, and 

heard the Pastoraff^P^^WW- S*?Mn the Duomo 

. *' La Verde e^^^'"^ ^^^^^^' ^•^•^Iciliana ! " said - 

people of Montr 

And many oi ^ really cared for her, because 
she loved them as they were, and did not wish to 
change them. For the people of Sicily are quick 
to read the characters and the hearts of those who 
come among them, and t^^-^ >>^^ ^^^ection ^^^^^^ ^'^ 
return for affection ! Tb hwon 

a bit of macaroni had found the way to their 
She respected their way*, a^id did not v 
impose hers upon them. 

** fe veramente una donna dt<;tirta. iinr^ d rr^ia per 
bene I ** was said of her by all 

Even Don Marco, long since vi iark 

little lady with a nice little dot f —even 

n .t. Marco subscribed to the g a. He 

''La Verde'' 

had asked " La Verde " to stand godmother to his 
first child, and she had, almost eagerly, consented. 
Although she had never regretted having refused 
the volcanic doctor, she still felt grateful to him for 
having clamoured to her to be his wife. She still 
remembered some of the florid adjectives he had 
lavished upon her attractions and her virtues. She 
still occasionally thought of the episode of the 
eau de Cologne. 

You see she had not had many tumultuous 
episodes in her life, even though now she dwelt 
within sight of the slopes of Etna. 


One day a terror rushed into Miss Fanny's life. 
England declared war upon Germany. If Italy 
should join in with the Central Powers ! Miss 
Fanny turned faint at the thought. Suddenly she 
realised exactly what Sicily and the Sicilians had 
been meaning to her through many years. They 
had been meaning happiness. If she should be- 
come by force of circumstances technically their 
enemy ! If she should have to give them up ! 

All Montagneta came to assure her that every 
Italian and Sicilian detested Austria. The Sindaco 
himself appeared in her drawing-room wrapped in 
his shawl, and said impressively to " La Verde " : 

" I have come to reassure you, Signorina. This 
is what our country thinks of Austria and of Ger- 

He arose with dignity, went to the window and 
tried to open it, but failed. Solemnly beckoning to 


T'he Book of Italy 

Miss Fanny, he procured her perplexed assistance. 
The window at length gave way upon Etna and the 
Ionian sea. 

" Observe what my country thinks of your 
enemies, distinguished Signorina," he said sono- 

And he expectorated with massive force in the 
direction of Northern Africa. 

Nevertheless Miss Fanny continued in her terror. 
She felt that if Italy were ever to fight against 
England it would be the death of her. She lost 
flesh, and became more like a bit of macaroni than 
ever, while Biilow in Rome intrigued and Giolitti 
pulled numberless wires. Her looks went from 
bad to worse ; at night she could not sleep ; her 
appetite failed. 

And then at last a poet came to Rome and spoke 
to Italy- He spoke to " the people," and the people 
heard. He spoke to the soul of the people, for he 
knew that Italy had a soul, and the soul of the 
people answered. He summoned Italy to hard- 
ship, to suffering, to blood, to tears, to bereavements, 
and to sacrifices, in the cause of the liberty of nations, 
in the cause of humanity against bestiality. 

And Italy answered as by fire. 

On the day when Italy marched towards the 
frontiers, in the evening many Sicilians of Montag- 
neta made their way to the house of "La Verde." 
Upon the terrace a long table was set out with 
bottles of wine and many glasses. Miss Fanny wore 
a handsome dress of blue silk, with the Italian 
colours pinned in the front by the side of a small 
Union Jack. Her usually pale face was flushed, but 

''La Ferde'' 

all her English self-consciousness had dropped from 
her. She was feeling too intensely to be self-con- 
scious. And when the glasses were filled, to the 
delighted astonishment of her excited and enthu- 
siastic neighbours, she struck one bony hand on 
the table for silence, and, having obtained it, she 
told them what she thought of them and of their 

She told them that to her Italy — which included 
Sicily — stood for the land of happiness, and of 
dreams come as true as dreams ever come in this 
world. She expressed, and almost with eloquence, 
what thousands of English men and women think 
about Italy and the people whom Garibaldi once 
led to victory. And she ended by saying that 
Italy called to the English not merely because it 
was a land of sunshine, of song, of art and of 
beauty, but because it was the land of " The 
Thousand," the land with a soul of fire. 

That night, when the little gathering dispersed, 
and made its way home in the darkness, the Sindaco 
announced emphatically, 

" La Verde e un grand' oratore ! " 

And from all sides eager Sicilian voices rose up 
in the night, 

" Dawero ! La Verde e un grand' oratore ! " 

Robert Hichens. 



Stammo int' atisto e chiove, 
nun pare cchiii 'a staggione, 
ma nun mme fa 'mpressione, 
anze mme piace. 

Mme piace st' aria fresca 
ca p' 'a fenesta trase 
e ca mme pare quase 

aria 'e U' autunno : 

mme piace si p' 'a strata, 
addo nun passa gente, 
io sento sulamente 

parla ddoje voce. , . . 

Malincunia, tu forse, 
tu mme V 'e fatta ama. 
E tu resuscita, 

tu 'a faie, stasera. 


Napoli, Agosto 191 5. 



It is August. There's a little rain. 
The summer may be over, as it seems. 
What does it matter ? I am happy so. 

I like the little cool breeze blowing in, 
Here at the window, blowing in my face. 
It is the autumn wind. I am content. 

I am contented if I only hear 

Two single voices in the empty street. 

Melancholy — ^was it melancholy 
That made me love her first ? . . . 
And you, Melancholy, you create her now 
again to-night. 


Paraphrase by Harold Monro. 



E 16 a m'dmanda : — Ci piace il Trovatore ? 
Mo al m'al dis int un mod t6tt arrab^. 
lo ci arispondo franca: — Sissignore, 
A vagh mata per ql' opera che le ! 

A. Testoni, / Sonetti delta Sgnera Cattareina. 
Bologna, 1904. 

Thirty years ago those whom it was my duty to 
respect used to tell me that Italy was The Land of 
Music. They said it in a way that admitted of no 
contradiction ; one could as soon think of doubting 
that London was the capital of England. Italian 
music was represented for me at that time by "La 
donna e mobile," as arranged for small hands in 
Hemy^s Pianoforte Tutor ; and as my later musical 
education, like that of everybody else in those 
days, progressed from Beethoven to Bach, and 
from Bach to Brahms, with a certain amount of 
Wagner, I grew up curiously ignorant of even the 
most hackneyed Italian tunes. But I cherished a 
vague faith in the doctrine instilled into me in 
childhood, and the few examples of Italian music 
that impressed themselves on my youthful memory 
— the page's song from Un Ballo in Maschera, sung 
by a lady when I was about fourteen, a Rossini 
overture played as a pianoforte duet, the discovery 
of a copy of Mefistqfele just before I left school — 
gave me a strange hankering after it as a sort of 

T'he Land of Music 

forbidden fruit, the more delicious because I knew 
so little of it. 

Many English music-lovers, I imagine, must have 
experienced the same disappointments as I did 
when I first pursued Italian music on its native soil. 
We enter an Italian cathedral expecting the sub- 
dued voluntary, the level intoning, the sweet-voiced 
choir, all that goes to make up the discreet seemli- 
ness of an Anglican service, and hear instead boys 
who seem to have been trained as vendors of news- 
papers, harsh and perfunctory bawling of plainsong, 
with an organ that and squeals crashes like that of 
a steam merry-go-round. Concerts are few and far 
between, and the audience inclined to behave more 
as if it was at a circus than at a programme of 
classical music. How w^ell I remember a perform- 
ance of the Choral Symphony at Naples — the first 
ever given there ! The great cadenza for the four 
solo voices, ending pianissimo on a high B for the 
soprano, was a prolonged and agonising scream ; 
then, before the orchestra could pick up the allegro 
after the pause, the whole audience burst into 
shouts of ** Bravo ! bravo ! bis ! bis ! bis ! " lasting 
some five minutes, after which we had the cadenza 
over again. 

It is not by these things that we must judge of 
Italian music. We must not expect to find in 
Italy the same sort of music under the same con- 
ditions that we are accustomed to in our own 
country. We must forget our national prejudices ; 
we must keep our ears open, and pick up music 
wherever we can. To most English people, music 
is something external to themselves. It is part of 


The Book of Italy 

" culture," like a knowledge of French, an accom- 
plishment, a thing to be bought, a thing to learn, or, 
it may be, a thing to find provided, like hassocks 
and hymn-books. In this time of war I am con- 
stantly being told that music is a luxury, one of the 
things that people will give up when increased taxes 
enforce economy. 

Italians could no more give up music than they 
could give up breathing. Considered by the stan- 
dards of what we in England call " musical people," 
their judgments of music are much less critical 
than ours — that is to say, they are not so willing to 
weigh the merits and demerits of a composer or 
performer dispassionately and intellectually. Their 
audiences have the reputation of being critical, 
because they are often hard to please ; but they 
are not really critical — ^they are extremely sensitive, 
and extremely outspoken. English travellers often 
think that hissing is common in Italian opera-houses. 
What they take for a sign of disapproval is really 
nothing more than a demand for silence, the equi- 
valent of our " sh ! " Italian disapproval, when it 
does find vent, takes a more terrifying form. You 
perceive it first, not as a sound, but as a sort of 
collective shudder ; then it may become a murmur, 
rising to a cry of " Uh ! bestia ! " or even to whistling 
on door-keys. But such demonstrations are not 
really very common. Besides, it must not be for- 
gotten that demonstrations of pleasure are equally 
violent, and much more frequent. 

To understand what music means to Italians, we 
must take into consideration the music of the less- 
educated classes, the music which in England would 

I'he Land of Music 

be either negligible or merely annoying. In Italy it 
is neither ; indeed it is often much more delightful 
than the music which professes to be high-class, 
just as cucina casalinga is always better than the 
cosmopolitan cookery of expensive hotels. Not that 
there is anything in Italy corresponding to the folk- 
song cult which has recently been so remarkable 
and so important a feature of English music. Only 
a very little has been done in Italy towards the 
systematic record of real folk-song. The Neapolitan 
songs, of which " Funiculi, funicula '* is the best- 
known example, are of quite recent growth, and indeed 
the festival of Piedigrotta, for which they are com- 
posed in hundreds every year, does not date back, 
at least as a musical event, much further than the 
days of Donizetti. The real songs of the peasantry 
are generally of much more primitive character, so 
primitive, in fact, that the modern musician has 
great difficulty in noting them down. 

Take no notice of the people who sing the 
vulgarities of twenty years ago — English and Viennese 
as well as Neapolitan — outside the big hotels at 
Naples or in a boat decked with Chinese lanterns on 
the Grand Canal. But if you walk up to Monte Pincio, 
instead of driving, you may come across the blind 
man with a harmonium, who plays " Casta diva " and 
" Ah I che la morte " with a real sense of phrasing. 
Go and have supper at one of the humble restaurants 
near Sant' Agnese, and listen to a street piano, 
which, if it does not play an air of Verdi, will give 
you an old-fashioned waltz or polka dressed up 
with a really clever accompaniment instead of the 
stupid scales of our English instruments. The 

The Book of Italy 

tune will have been properly arranged by a musician 
who knows his business, and the instrument itself 
will have a quality of tone that is positively pleasing, 
unless by some evil chance that horrible invention 
of Naples, the mandoline attachment, forces its 
strident tone upon the ear. Guitar-players appear 
everywhere, I need hardly say, and I confess that 
it is rare to find a good one who can accompany a 
song with a reasonable bass. It is perhaps in the 
provincial towns that you will hear the most curious 
and often attractive combinations. Dr. Burney, 
who travelled in Italy in search of music about 
1770, notes the performance of the hravi orbi at 
Bologna, and I have often derived great pleasure 
from blind musicians there and in Parma. 

But the most remarkable street music that I 
ever heard was at Verona, some fifteen years ago. 
The performer was a tall and dignified old man with 
a long white beard, who accompanied himself with 
great skill on the guitar. To one coming fresh from a 
winter in Germany, as I did, saturated with Wagner, 
it was a revelation to hear him sing all the classical 
Italian tenor songs — the Count's serenade from 
// Barbiere, " Spirto gentil " from La Favorita^ 
" Dai campi, dai prati " from Mefistojele. The 
tenore robusto airs of Verdi were rather beyond his 
strength, but his execution of the more lyrical 
type of song was a lesson in the purest art of bel 
canto. He was evidently so complete an artist that 
it would have been discourteous to ask any question 
as to his past history. The waiter at a cafe told 
me that his name was Maurelli, and I asked a 
musical friend in Florence if he had ever heard of 

T'he Land of Music 

him. " Maurelli ? but of course I have heard him. 
I knew him when he was singing at the Pergola. 
He was one of our greatest tenors. And now you 
tell me that, at the age of seventy, he is singing in 
the streets of Verona !" 

I went back to Verona a year later, attracted 
more, I think, by the hopes of hearing old Maurelli 
again than by any of the architectural wonders 
of the town. I searched for him in vain, and nobody 
could give me news of him. Two years later I read 
in a newspaper that he had died in Verdi's House of 
Rest for destitute musicians. 

It was from old Maurelli more than from anyone 
else that I learnt to appreciate the real beauty of 
Italian music. If you go to La Scala or the Costanzi 
you may hear admirable performances of Meister- 
singer or Salome ; but if you want to hear real 
Italian music you must go to some humble little 
theatre in a back street, where you can get a box 
for two francs, to hear // Barbiere or Lucia di Lam- 
mermoor. You need not even pay your twenty- 
five centimes admission ; for you can do almost as 
well in the piazza, be it Piazza Colonna or Piazza 
San Marco. A good Italian military or municipal 
band is unrivalled, and even if you can get nothing 
better than the band of some casual Orfanotrofio or 
Ricreatorio, you may be sure that it will always 
play good music. Here is perhaps the best proof 
of Italian musicianship ; the music provided gratis 
for the humblest of the people, the music which the 
humblest of the people evidently enjoy, as you can 
see by their rapt silence as they cluster round the 
band-stand, is invariably of sterling quality. The 


"The Book of Italy 

programmes are mainly drawn from the national 
classics : you may sometimes hear a whole act of 
Verdi or Boito played from beginning to end, with 
so expressive a delivery of the recitatives that you 
can almost think you hear the words. But you will 
hear Beethoven, Wagner, Brahms, and even Bach 
as well ; incredible as it may seem, I once heard 
Bach's G minor organ fugue played by a band in 
the Piazza Colonna on a stifling August evening when 
there was hardly a soul in Rome who could afford 
the railway fare to Ladispoli or Anzio. It was not 
only played : it was applauded, it was positively 

Verdi's early operas were so closely associated 
with the movement for Italian liberty — everyone 
remembers the interpretation of Evviva VERDI as 
Evviva Vittorio Emanuehy Re D'ltalia ! — that people 
have sometimes supposed his success to be due 
merely to his expression of popular patriotism. 
This is unjust, and may be disproved by the fact 
that Verdi's most popular operas — RigolettOy 11 Tro- 
vatore, La Traviata — belong to a later period, 
and although composed before 1859, have no speci- 
fically patriotic allusions such as distinguished / 
Lombardiy for instance. Verdi's greatness needs no 
bolstering up with sentimental associations. He 
was accepted as the singer of united Italy not merely 
because of the words he set, but because of the 
irresistible appeal of his melodies. And their appeal 
was irresistible, because it was made to a funda- 
mentally musical people. Dante is credited with 
having given the Italians a common language. But 
the musicians of Italy many centuries ago contri- 

The Land of Music 

buted their share towards united Italy, when national 
drama such as we had in England would have been 
impossible south of the Alps, owing to differences of 
dialect. The opera brought Venice, Florence, and 
Naples together even in the seventeenth century. 
Goldoni and Alfieri, great as they are, are obscure 
names compared with Verdi and Rossini. It is 
opera that represents the soul of Italy ; and that is 
why, while Dante stands for Italy at Trent, the 
Italians of Trieste have symbolised their national 
aspirations in the figure of Verdi. 

The musical quality of a country is not to be 
assessed solely by the great musicians which it may 
have produced in the past. We shall be much 
safer in judging by the general standard of music 
amongst the humbler classes. If ability to sing 
correctly at sight is an appropriate test, England 
would probably stand a good deal higher than Italy. 
But a knowledge of reading and writing is not 
the whole of education, as we learn when we listen 
in amazement to the natural elegance of phrase 
which is the birthright of every unlettered Tuscan 
peasant. We can sing at sight in England, but is 
the stuff we sing worth the paper on which it is 
printed ? Italy prints less for popular consumption, 
and even then prints abominably ; indeed at Naples 
there is still a large trade in manuscript music, not 
altogether in accordance, I imagine, with the law of 
copyright. But all Italy sings, if only by ear, and 
what is more important, all Italy is saturated with 
its musical classics. The vulgarities of the music- 
halls have no significance in this connexion ; the 
attraction of the chanteuse does not lie in her song, 


T'he Book of Italy 

or even in her voice. Modern composers may 
experiment in " international opera " with a view 
to success in America or in London as being worth 
more financially than they can expect from Milan 
or Rome. These are only passing phases of an 
activity commercial rather than artistic. The real 
Italy is the land of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and 

Edward J. Dent. 


Edwin Bale, R.I. 


Along the avenue of cypresses, 

All in their scarlet capes, and surplices 

Of linen, go the chanting choristers. 

The priests in gold and black, the villagers. 

And all along the path to the cemetery 
The dark, round heads of the men crowd silently, 
And black-scarved faces of women-folk, wistfully 
Watch at the banner of death, at the mystery . . . 

And at the foot of a grave a father stands 

With sunk, bowed head, and forgotten, folded 

hands ; 
And by the side of a grave a woman kneels 
With still, rapt face, and neither hears nor feels 

The coming of the many villagers 
Along the avenue of cypresses, 4 
The chanting of the scarlet choristers. 
The candle-flames beside the surplices. 

D. H. Lawrence. 

Gargnano, 191 3. ' 



II ritorno del contadino, a quell' ora insolita, 
prima del tramonto, turbo la servetta : tanto piii 
eh' egli le sembro pallido e preoccupato. Si fece 
da parte, riparandosi dietro il portoncino aperto, 
mentre V uomo faceva entrare nel cortiletto prima 
uno poi r altro dei suoi buoi gravi e neri, cosl grossi 
che occuparono tutto il breve spazio lasciando 
appena il passaggio lungo il muro ; poi chiuse, 
mentr' egli legava le bestie e dopo averle spinte 
una verso V altra, si lasciava cader seduto, un po' 
affranto, sulla pietra davanti alia porta della casetta ; 
e gli fu tosto accanto, accovacciandosi per terra col 
suo istintivo atteggiamento di schiava. 

— Malato, siete ? — domando, guardandolo di 
sotto in su. 

Egli teneva le mani rugose come artigli aperte 
suUe ginocchia ; il suo viso olivastro, dorato dalla 
barbetta rossiccia, pareva indurito da un pensiero 
fisso e triste ; e anche gli occhi di solito maliziosi 
erano vaghi e immobili come quelli di un uccello 

— Malato sono — affermo — e d' un male che 
fa morire. 

Lei balzo in ginocchio mettendogli sulle mani le 
sue piccole mani brune ; e sembrava cosi spaven- 
tata che egli sorrise, con tutti i suoi denti bianchi : 
un sorriso che aveva pero qualche cosa di ringhioso. 


— Ascoltami — disse — e venuto un tale da me, 
questo mezzogiorno, mentre guardavo il mio fru- 
mento ; fratello di uno col quale ho fatto il soldato. 
Ebbene, mi disse che questa notte scorsa, a mez- 
zanotte in punto, suo fratello ha ricevuto ordine di 
presentarsi subito al Comando militate, ed e stato 
immediatamente vestito da soldato e mandato Ion- 
tano, per la guerra che scoppiera fra giorni. Ebbene, 
ragazzina mia, questa notte sara forse la mia volta. 

— £ questa la malattia ? — disse lei ridendo ; 
ma il viso di lui era ritornato duro, triste, e lei si 
lascio ricader seduta sui calcagni mormorando : 

— Si puo morire, in guerra. 

— Si puo morire. Ma questo non importa : h 
nulla. Morire si deve, una volta o V altra. II ma- 
lanno e che io ho il frumento da raccogliere, i buoi 
a cui badare. Non ho nessuno. Tu sei ancora 
cosi giovine. Ti avessi almeno sposata prima. 
Adesso, se voglio lasciare a te la roba, bisogna 
che faccia testamento. 

— Io non voglio nulla. Voglio solo che voi 
tornate. E perche dovete andare, voi ? Non ci 
sono gia, i soldati ? Non andate. Perche non vi 
nascondete ? 

— Tu sei un' idiota, — grido lui respingendola. 
Taci, almeno ! E lei tacque, fissando con gli occhi 
spauriti la porta chiusa come se il nemico ignoto 
col quale il suo uomo doveva combattere fosse gia 
11 fuori e tentasse d' invadere la piccola casa per 
portarsi via i buoi, il frumento, la cassa, e ammazzare 
il padrone. In fondo, pero, le rimaneva accesa la 
lampada della vita : la speranza. 

— Non tutti muoiono, in guerra, — disse soUe- 


T'he Book of Italy 

vandosi. — Eppoi voi siete svelte e vi salverete. 
Ne avete passate tante. 

Anche lui era certo di salvarsi ; ne aveva passate 
tante, sempre in guerra con uomini e cose, e si era 
salvato sempre, dai suoi nemici, dai ladri, dai ban- 
diti, dalle insolazioni, dalla malaria, dai fulmine e 
dalla tarantola : perche non doveva salvarsi in 
guerra ? 

Digrigno i denti. 

— Lo voglio masticare come carne di cane, il 
nemico : giacche mi vuole mi avra ! 

E si alzo, si strinse la cintura come stesse per par- 
tire ; poi entro nella piccola cucina e guardo attorno 
ogni oggetto, sail la scaletta di legno, ando nella 
camera da letto. 

La ragazza lo seguiva, silenziosa e flessuosa come 
un gattino. 

La camera era vasta, bassa, con una cassa antica 
di legno nero, scolpita, col letto di legno ove era 
morta pochi mesi avanti la moglie del contadino. Al 
ricordo della moglie morta egli si fece piu triste : 
fosse almeno vissuta ancora lei, egli sarebbe partito 
sicuro della sua roba. Della serva si fidava fino a 
un certo punto, sebbene la sapeva fedele come un 
cane. Ma era cosi ragazza ! Lontano lui poteva 
anche mettersi a far T amore con un altro. La 
guardo. Ella s' era accovacciata davanti alia cassa, 
con le mani giunte sul grembo. Pareva adorasse il 
cuore, il pesce, la colomba, gli astri e la croce incisi 
sulla cassa : pareva pregasse come davanti a un 
sarcofago ; ed era dawero il sarcofago con dentro 
tutti i suoi antenati quella cassa istoriata coi simboli 
deir amore, della fede, del dolore. 




Egli sospiro. Trasse la chiave della cassa, la 
guardo, sospiro ancora. Aveva giurato di non con- 
segnarla a nessuno, se non si sposava una seconda 
volta. E la ragazza lo sapeva, e arrossl di gioia e 
di pena quando egli le getto la chiave in grembo. 

Solo allora intese che egli doveva partire dawero 
e forse mai piii tornare. Si alzo e disse : 

— Vi giuro che nulla manchera di casa vostra. 
Come lasciate troverete. 

Allora egli V afferro e comincio a baciarla, con 
gli occhi che gli scintillavano un po' cattivi un 
po' dolci. 

— Cosa deve mancare se tutto e tuo ? Che io 
torni q non torni tutto e tuo, tortora ! 

— E vostro, e vostro, — ripeteva lei, a occhi chiusi, 
ubbriacata dai baci di lui. E gli si abbandonava 
con fede perche sentiva che egli, consegnandole la 
chiave della cassa della prima moglie, V aveva gia 

Dopo, ridiscesero nel cortiletto ; sedettero di 
nuovo, lui suUa pietra, con le mani suUe ginocchia, il 
viso e gli occhi schiariti : lei accovacciata per terra. 

— Cosi avrai un figlio, — disse lui, con accento 
malizioso. — Cosi, se io non tomo la popolazione 
non diminuisce : e tu baderai alia mia roba per lui. 
Oh, che fai adesso, donna ? 

Ella piangeva, d' un tratto fatta donna dawero ; 
ma egli le strappo il grembiale dagli occhi, le diede 
un colpo alle spalle ed ella trasall e si raddrizzo. Ed 
egli le mise una mano suUa testa e comincio a darle 
istruzioni precise sul come far mietere e raccogliere 
il frumento, e a chi consegnare i buoi e come pagare 
le imposte. Poi tacquero. II tramonto mandava 


T'he Book of Italy 

gill per gli alti muri del cortiletto un chiarore violaceo 
che dava ai grandi buoi neri immobili un riflesso 
di bronzo. E quei due tacevano, aspettando il 
carabiniere con V ordine del Comando militate come 
un essere misterioso con un ordine del destino. 

Grazia Deledda. 



The return of the peasant at that unusual hour, 
before sunset, troubled the little servant-girl — all the 
more as he seemed pale and preoccupied. She 
drew out of the way, taking refuge behind the open 
gateway, while he drove into the courtyard, one 
after the other, his sedate, black oxen, so large that 
they took up nearly the whole space, hardly leaving 
room along the wall ; then, when he had fastened 
up the beasts, after having pushed them together, 
and when he had sunk down rather weariedly on 
the stone by the door of the hut, she closed the 
gates and was immediately by his side, crouching 
on the ground in her instinctive attitude of a 

"Is it ill you are ? " she asked, looking up at 

He sat with his hands, wrinkled and like out- 
spread claws, on his knees ; his olive-tinted face, 
aureated by his ruddy beard, seemed immobilised 
by some fixed, sad thought ; even his eyes, which 
usually had a malicious look, were vacant and set 
like those of a bird that was sick. 

" Aye, ill," he asserted, " and of an ill that 

She sprang on to her knees and placed her little 
brown hands on his ; she seemed so frightened 
that he smiled, showing all his white teeth — a smile, 
though, that was something of a snarl. 


"The Book of Italy 

" Hear me," he said ; '* there came to me one this 
mid-day while I was watching my corn, brother of 
one who was a soldier with me. Well, he told me 
that last night, on the point of midnight, his 
brother received an order to present himself at once 
to the Military Authority, and he was immediately 
dressed as a soldier, and sent far away for the war 
that will break out in a few days. Well, little girl, 
this night maybe it will be my turn." 

" You're ill of this, is it } " said she, laughing ; 
but the look on his face had become once more hard 
and sad, and she sank back on her heels as she 
murmured : " One can be killed at war." 

" One can be killed. But that does not matter ; 
it's nothing. One must die, one time or another. 
The misery is that I have the corn to gather in 
and my oxen to mind. I have no one. You are 
still so young. Had I married you sooner. Now 
if I want to leave the things to you I shall have to 
make my will." 

" I don't want nothing. I want you only to 
come back. And why must you go — you ? Isn't 
there all the soldiers already ? Don't go ! Why 
don't you hide ? " 

" You are an idiot," he said, pushing her away 
from him. " Keep quiet, at least ! " 

And she kept quiet, fixing with her scared eyes 
the closed door, as if the unknown enemy with 
whom her man was to fight was already out there, 
and was attempting to invade the little house, to 
carry off the cattle, the corn, the chest, and to 
murder the patron. In her innermost, though, 
there remained lit the lamp of life — hope. 


ne Vigil 

" All are not killed in war," she said, raising 
herself. ** Then you are quick and will escape. 
You have saved yourself so often." 

He too was sure of escape. He had saved him- 
self so often ; always at war with men and things, 
and he had always escaped, from his enemies, from 
thieves, bandits, sunstroke, malaria, lightning and 
from the tarantula. Why was he not to escape in 
war ? 

He gnashed his teeth. 

"I'll chew him like dog's meat — the enemy : 
since he wants me, he shall have me ! " 

He rose up and tightened his belt as if about 
to start ; then stepped into the little kitchen and 
looked around at each object, went up the little 
wooden steps and into the bedroom. 

The girl followed him as silent and lissom as 
a cat. 

The room was spacious and low, and contained 
an ancient chest of black carved wood, and the 
wooden bed where the wife of the peasant had died 
a few months back. At the thought of his dead 
wife he became even sadder : had she but still 
been alive he would have felt sure of his belongings. 
He trusted the servant-girl to a certain extent, 
although he knew her to be faithful as a dog. But 
she was such a child ! With him far away she might 
make love with another. He looked at her. She 
was crouched in front of the chest with her hands 
folded in her lap. She seemed to be adoring the 
heart, the fish, the dove, the stars, and the cross 
carved on the chest ; she seemed to be praying 
as if in front of a sarcophagus — and it was, in fact, 


^he Book of Italy 

a sarcophagus, having within something of all his 
ancestors, that chest ornamented with the symbol 
of love, faith and pain. 

He sighed. He drew out the key of the chest, 
looked at it, and sighed again. He had sworn to 
consign it to no one if he did not marry a second 
time. And the girl knew it, and blushed with joy 
and grief when he threw the key in her lap. 

Then, only, she understood that he must go 
and perhaps never come back. She stood up, and 
said : 

" I swear that nothing shall be missed from 
your house. As you leave it, you will find it." 

He then laid hold of her and began to kiss 
her, while his eyes flashed a bit wickedly, a bit 

" What can be missed if it is all yours ? If I 
come back or not it is all yours, little dove." 

" It is yours ; it is yours," she repeated, with her 
eyes closed, intoxicated by his kisses. And she 
yielded to him in faith, for she felt that in consign- 
ing her the keys of his first wife's chest he had 
already married her. 

Later, they went down into the little yard ; 
they again sat down — he on the stone with his hands 
on his knees, but with a more relieved look in 
his eyes and on his face ; she crouched on the 

" Thus you'll have a son," he said, with a 
malicious inflection in his tone. " Thus, if I do 
not return, the population won't diminish, and 
you'll mind my belongings for him. Ah, what are 
you doing there, woman ? " 

"The Vigil 

She was weeping, having all of a sudden become 
a woman ; but he tore the apron from her eyes, 
gave her a slap on the back. She started and 
straightened herself. And he, placing a hand on 
her head, began giving her precise instructions how 
to reap and gather the corn, to whom consign the 
cattle, and how to pay the taxes. Then they were 
silent. Over the high walls of the little yard the 
violet shades of the dusk seemed to turn the large, 
black, motionless oxen to bronze. And the two 
remained silent, awaiting the carabiniere with an 
order from the Military Authority as some mys- 
terious being with an order from destiny. 

Grazia Deledda. 
Translated by Adeline Lister Kaye. 


ELEGY FOR B. H. W. (1915) 

I CALL you, and I call you. Oh, come home. 

You lonely creature. Cursed be the clown 

Who plugged you with that lead, and knocked you 

Stand up again and laugh, you wandering friend. 
Say, as you would, *' It's just a little hole : 
It will soon mend." 
Walk now into the room. Come ! Come ! Come ! 

Come ! 

Come ! We will laugh together all the night 
(When I have poured you out a glass or two). 
Sit down. Our mutual mirth will reach its height 
When we remember how they called you dead ; 
And I shall ask you how it felt, and you : — 
" Oh nothing ! — ^Just a tumble. Rather hot 
The feeling in my side, and then my head 
A trifle dizzy — but Fm back again. 
I lay there rather long, and I've still got 
(When I think of it) just a little pain." 


I know the way you stumbled. Once you slid. 
And landed on your side. I noticed then 
A trick of falling ; some peculiar glide, 
A curious movement, not like other men. 




> ^ 

3 t 
o ^ 

^V i 

./A J 



Elegy for B. H. W. (1915) 

— But did your mouth drop open ? Did your breath 
Hurt you ? What sort of feeling quickly came 
When you discovered that it might be death ? 

— ^And what will happen if I shout your name ? 

Perhaps you may be there behind that door ; 

And, if I raise my voice a little more, 

You'll swing it open. I don't know how thick 

The black partition is between us two. 

You may be there — almost there — coming quick — 

Listen ! The door-bell rang ! Perhaps it's you. . . . 

You're in the room. You're sitting in that chair. 

You are ! — I will go down. It was the bell. 

You may be waiting at the door as well. 

And what a shout I'll give if you are there ! 

— They've rigged you in your uniform to-day : 

You take a momentary martial stand, 

Then step inside, and hold me out your hand, 

And laugh in that old solitary way. 

You don't know why you did it . . . All this while 
You've slaved and sweated. Now you're very 

strong ... 
And so you tell me with a knowing smile : 
** We're going off to Flanders before long." 
I thought you 'Id come back with an ugly hole 
Below your thigh, 

And ask for sympathy, and wander lame. 
I thought you 'Id be the same 
Rambling companion, without self-control . . . 
I never thought you 'Id die. 


The Book of Italy 


Now let us both forget this brief affair. 

Let us begin our friendship all again. 

Fm going down to meet you on the stair. 

Come ! Come ! — for I can see you, plain. 

How strange ! A moment I did think you dead. 

How foolish of me ! 

. . . Friend 1 Friend ! Are you dumb ? 
Why are you pale ? Why do you hang your head ? 
You see me ? Here's my hand. Why don't you 

come } 
Don't make me angry. You are there I know. 
Is not my house your house ? There is a bed 
Upstairs. You're tired. Lie down (you must). 

Come home. 
Some men are killed — not you. Be as you were. 
And yet — somehow it's dark down all the stair. 
I'm looking in the street. . . . You are not there. 

Harold Monro. 



My month's tour on the Trentino and Cadore front 
has left me the impression of a harmonious whole, 
where every detail of the complicated machinery 
at work is accomplished thoroughly, serenely, and 
confidently both by officers and men. 

I can see them now in their smart, serviceable 
grey-green uniforms, with their dark, vivid faces, 
and their bright black eyes as they come and 
go, some riding or walking, others building huts, 
chopping wood, mending their clothes — the sunny 
Italian smile always on their lips. 

They have invaded the solitary grandeur of 
these mountain passes, undaunted by the obstacles 
which Nature has placed in their way to keep her 
solitude undisturbed ; undismayed by the lack of 
roads, the snows, the wind, the rain, they have 
brought with them up here the sun and warmth of 
their homes, and the life and radiance of their 
cheerful, ever-ready smile. The beauty of the 
scenery is not lost on them either ; perhaps as a 
compensation to the grim horrors of war, the Powers 
that be have conceded to the little grey-green 
Italian soldier the privilege to fight his battles in 
these beautiful surroundings, knowing how keenly 
susceptible he is to anything that appeals to his 
innate sense of beauty. Be this as it may, at any 
rate he is sensible to the grandeur and beauty that 


T^he Book of Italy 

he sees ; it helps him, and keeps his cheerful spirit 
alive. Often have I heard the soldiers commenting 
enthusiastically on the glorious mountain scenery. 

The keen mountain air exhilarates them ; the 
knowledge that they are fighting to restore to Italy 
what was hers makes them absolutely confident of 
success, so they smile, and they sing as they work ; 
thus do the sons of that land from which has come 
all the beauty and the art of the world, beautify 
and uplift even the dull routine of warfare. 

The Italian soldier is sober, both in eating and 
in drinking. He has not many wants — a piece of 
bread and fruit, and, when he can get it, some of 
his beloved macaroni ,, that is all he needs. He is 
wiry, hardy, and enduring, notwithstanding this 
simple fare. He is also very handy and ingenious, 
and finds a way out of unexpected difficulties, as 
in the case of the remedy that he invented in an 
encampment which I saw. 

It was in a heavily-wooded forest, the ground 
was muddy and damp, no ray of sunlight getting 
through the thick foliage. So in a few hours, 
platforms were built well above the ground, the 
little white tents were placed on them, nestling 
snugly amongst the thick branches ; and from afar 
one could think that an immense flock of huge 
white birds were taking a rest on the green-topped 
trees. Up there the soldiers had air, light, and sun- 
shine, and they were happy and could smile once 

Another ingeniously built camp was the one I 
saw on a bare rocky hillside. The tents were placed 
irregularly apart from one another, so that, seen 

^^ "The Smiling Soldiers '' 

from some distance, they looked like big round 
boulders practically undistinguishable from the grey 
rocks of the mountain. 

This was done in one of our very advanced 
positions in Val d'Ampola, where the enemy could 
through field-glasses practically see every detail on 
our side, and the work had to be done at night. 

The Val d'Ampola is sacred ground for us ; it 
was there that Garibaldi and his handful of men 
won a victory over the Austrians in 1866. The 
men of 191 5 know this, and they are proud to feel 
that to-day, after all these years, they are again tread- 
ing the same road, this time, please God, to keep it 
for ever. 

My last memory of Val d'Ampola is one that, 
more than any words can do, typifies the spirit of 
cheerfulness that prevails amongst our soldiers. 
Near the mountain stream that rushes down the 
narrow valley, our men have built with tree branches 
a little " pergola " about four or five feet wide, 
they have placed in it a rustic bench and table, 
and during their leisure time they sit there, discuss 
the war, and talk about their distant homes. A big 
square signboard has been nailed on a post near 
the entrance, and on it, in uneven order, is written 
in awkward, ill-formed letters, "AH* Osteria del 
Buon Umore." 

That is how our men understand their war — *' the 
guerra santa," as they call it. They fight it willingly, 
cheerfully, smilingly. They have not gone into it 
lightly ; they know full well the greatness of the 
task before them, the many hardships and the 
weary days they will have to face ; they realise all 

M 147 

T'he Book of Italy 

this, but yet they smile and sing as they work, for 
they went wiUingly into this great enterprise, and 
when at last they come to meet their long-lost 
brothers of Trento and Trieste, they want to greet 
them with joy and laughter in their hearts, and 
bring to them all the warmth and the light and the 
radiance of the gentle smile of their common mother 

That is why I want henceforth our soldiers to 
be called by all " the smiling soldiers," for in their 
smile is their strength, and by their smiling courage 
will they gain their victory ! 

Magdeleine Cotta ver Mehr. 



On the blood-stained field of Solferino, during the 
second war for the unification of Italy, Henri 
Dunant, the Swiss philanthropist, conceived the 
idea of a voluntary association having for its object 
the ministering to the sufferings of the wounded in 
war ; and in the year 1862 the inspired pages of 
his Souvenirs de Solferino sent forth to the world 
the heartrending cry of the wounded on the fields 
of battle. 

But prior to him, a Neapolitan physician, 
Ferdinando Palasciano, at the siege of Messina in 
1848, by boldly replying to the Bourbonic General 
Filangieri, who threatened to shoot him, " A 
wounded man is no longer an enemy ! " had already 
had a clear and accurate vision of the legal and 
humane principle of rendering aid to the wounded 
in war. 

In a paper which he read in the year 1861 to 
the Accademia Pontaniana of Naples, and which 
was later to acquire historical importance, Palas- 
ciano said : ^* It should be incumbent on belligerent 
powers to reciprocally recognise the principle of the 
neutrality of wounded and sick combatants until 
they are cured, and the powers should also respec- 
tively adopt the principle of the unlimited increase 
of medical and nursing staffs for the whole duration 
of the war." 


I'he Book of Italy 

Indefatigably persevering in his propaganda, in 
the year 1862, in another paper he even more de- 
finitely set forth his idea that the principle of the 
neutrality of the wounded combatant should be 
adopted as the result of a stipulated agreement " in 
an International Congress, or by mutual and special 
consent of the belligerent powers in the act of their 
declaration of war." 

On August 22, 1864, the International Conference 
at Geneva, by establishing the " Red Cross," sanc- 
tioned the principles upheld by Palasciano, IDunant, 
and Arrault, as well as that work of voluntary aid 
to the wounded to which Florence Nightingale, 
who had hailed the landing of the Italian Bersa- 
glieri at Balaclava, had so nobly devoted her life. 

Ferdinando Palasciano 's conception, which corro- 
borated the principle of the Italian jurist of the 
Renaissance, Hostilitas cum nullo toilet obliga- 
tionem naturalem^ was thus blended with Florence 
Nightingale's ideals under the safeguard of the 
Red Cross. The ratification of the Geneva Con- 
vention by the powers gave to that covenant its 
character of a true and essential international law. 

Thus only fifty years ago, after so many centuries 
of wars and treaties, due provision was made for 
the wounded by an international agreement. 

Since the year 1864 the Italian Red Cross has 
been associated with each one of New Italy's 
triumphs, with every one of her misfortunes. We 
thus find it in the war of 1866, then at Montero- 
tondo and Mentana in 1867, with the expedition 
to Erythrea in 1895, again with the Italian troops in 
China and in Candia, and finally in our Libyan War. 



Giuseppe Mentessi {Milan) 


T'he Italian Red Cross 

Conscious of its mission, the Italian Red Cross 
provided assistance and supplies for the Franco- 
Prussian War of 1870, to the British in the Trans- 
vaal, to Spain, to Japan, and in Morocco, Greece, 
and Montenegro, not circumscribing its work to 
war alone, but extending it to public calamities and 
to the reclaiming of malarial regions. 

The anti-malarial campaigns in the Campagna 
Romana and in Sicily will remain among its most 
splendid records, as will also the assistance it ren- 
dered on several occasions, viz., the earthquake 
in Calabria in 1905, the eruptions of Vesuvius in 
1906, the earthquakes at Reggio and Messina in 
1908, the cholera epidemic in 1910-11. In every 
one of the long series of public calamities during 
which Italy in her severe trials affirmed the manli- 
ness and tenacity of her race, the Italian Red Cross 
plied her task, symbolising as it were the national 

And now, in this fourth war for the unification 
of Italy, which was to reveal to the world so many 
hidden treasures of strength, bravery, and spirit 
of self-sacrifice of the Italian people, the Italian 
Red Cross has once more proved itself equal to 
its high calling by the efficiency of its personnel 
and of its services, and by the self-abnegation of 
its motives. 

The canteens, the first aid and dressing 
stations along the railway lines afforded relief to 
the soldiers during the anxious period of concen- 
tration at the front ; later, hospital trains, river 
ambulances and the Venice lagoon ambulances were 
mobilised, while field hospitals and mountain ambu- 

T'he Book of Italy 

lances were despatched to the firing line. All the 
most modern and perfect appliances were put to 
use for the great charitable work. Motor-ambulance 
units of the Red Cross went through the war zone 
for the rapid conveyance of the wounded, store- 
houses were established along the advanced lines, 
and staff depots all over the kingdom. The whole 
service was quickly expanded and made to meet 
the new requirements. 

Thus the Italian Red Cross, enrolled with the 
Army Medical Service {Sanita Militare), which is 
always true to the traditions of its reorganiser, 
Senator Riberi, and in conjunction with the Cross 
of Malta, the glorious remnant of the Hospitaller 
Orders of the Middle Ages, has attained complete 
efficiency for its work of valid assistance to the 
Italian Army. 

All over Italy Red Cross territorial hospitals 
have come into being, equipped with the latest im- 
provements in hospital gear suggested by science ; 
an army of nurses, having at their head H.R.H. 
the Duchess Elena of Aosta, has been raised, who 
all fulfil their merciful duties with a deep feeling 
of disinterestedness and self-denial ; moreover, the 
whole administration and all the different services 
have been admirably organised. 

By means of an active propaganda the Italian 
Red Cross has everywhere strengthened the ranks 
of its trained staff, thus truly and adequately in- 
terpreting the solicitude and gratitude of Italy 
towards her sons, who against enormous difficulties 
are so bravely doing their duty to their country. 
It is a real competition of noble energies that 

The Italian Red Cross 

the Red Cross has stirred up and made subservient 
to its noble ends. 

Thus the great institution, of which Florence 
Nightingale and Ferdinando Palasciano were the 
pioneers, has now, in the hour of Italy's supreme 
ordeal, found a worthy scope for the earnest accom- 
plishment of its work and the achievement of its 

The lamp of Florence Nightingale, who was 
born in Florence, and to whose memory a monu- 
ment rises in Santa Croce by the side of our greatest 
men, is the symbol of mercy of the Red Cross. 

The work of Florence Nightingale was not done 
in vain for Italy. 

Andrea Galante. 

Translated by William De la Feld. 




It was a hot evening in September. Two children, 
a boy and a girl, were alone in the old wainscoted 
room of an ancient market town. They were very 
quiet, almost sad, as children are wont to be after 
romping all day and when bedtime is drawing near. 
Dusk was stealing in ; the lamplighter had gone on 
his rounds ; the blue, green, and red lights were 
shining most beautifully in their huge vases at the 
chemist's, across the road. 

Mary loved to watch the lamplighter every 
evening, and the bright colours of the shop opposite 
her own house had been like friends to her ever 
since she could toddle up to the window. Just 
now she was flattening her face against the casement, , 
drumming a slow tune on the pane with her small 
chubby hand. A feeling of great loneliness, even 
of fear, came over her — she did not know why, for 
her brother George was sitting on the table quite 
close to her. He was trying to read in the quick 
fading light ; his beautiful young face was grave, 
the white brow under the golden hair was puckered. 

The whole house was mysteriously silent. Little 
Mary could stand that silence no longer. 

" What are you reading, George ? " 

The boy put down with a light sigh the printed 
card he was holding. 

154 ' 


" I am studying the Scouts' laws, Mary." 

" But you are a Scout yourself, George ; don't 
you know your own laws ? " 

" Not all of them, at least not the new ones, 
now that we are at war." 

'' That horrid war ! " 

" You don't know what war means, Mary ; no 
little girl understands anything at all about it." 

" I am a big girl now, and I know quite well 
what war is." 

" What is It, then ? " 

" It is ... it is everything and everybody 
being different." 

" You talk nonsense, Mary, and bad grammar 

" I don't. Everything is different ; everybody is 

" Is Father different ? " 

" Most different." 

" But he is at the front, and you have not seen 
him for a year } " 

" That's exactly why he is different. He was 
always here before, he always came in after the 
lamplighter had passed, and he carried me on his 
back, and he laughed, and I laughed and shouted, 
and Mother laughed, and everyone laughed. Is it 
not different now ? The house is so dull, so quiet." 

'* Of course ; but Father is just the same, I know, 
though he is not here. Fathers never change. Only 
boys and girls change, because they grow." 

" Well, Mother is quite, quite different now," 
said Mary with a little sob in her voice. 

** I don't see any change in Mother." 


The Book of Italy 

" Don't you, George ? She was so pretty before ; 
now she is not pretty at all. She always told me 
lovely tales every day about the Magic Prince and 
the Ugly Mouse, and about the dreadful robbers in 
the dark cave by the sea. Now she never tells me 
any exciting stories. She sits all day long, knitting, 
in the window, and watching for the telegraph-boy 
or for the post- woman. Her eyes are red — they 
were blue before . . . she is quite changed. George, 
come a little nearer to me ; I want to whisper a 
secret into your ear." 

" I hate secrets — they are so silly." 

" This one is not silly, and it is just one — only 
one : I think, George, that Mother does not love 
us any more, not since the war began." 

" What rubbish ! Mothers don't change ; they 
change even less than fathers. But we ought not to 
expect stories about robbers and mice and princes 
in war-time. Grown-up people have other things 
to think about than that ; they are busy and anxious." 

" That horrid, horrid war ! All was so very 
jolly before ! George, I want to tell you another 

" Another ? You said * just one.' " 

" Only one more ; it is about Nurse. She is 
different too ; she never scolds now, and she never 
pulls my hair when she combs it." 

** What more do you want ? " 

'* I want her to love me, I want her to talk to 
me, I want her to play with me ; but she reads the 
newspapers all day long, and at night, when I have 
said my prayers, and when she thinks I am asleep, 
and when I only half open one of my eyes, Nurse 



reads an old and very dirty letter. She cries, and 
her nose gets red, as red as the red glass at the 
chemist's ; and I cannot go to sleep because she 
sighs so loudly. Before the war she used to sing 
and to bring me my dolls to say good-night to them, 
and she was such a dear, jolly nurse." 

'* Well, your dolls have not changed, have they ? " 

*' Most changed. They are now hospital nurses, 
or post-women, or tramway- women." 

'' And before the war ? " 

** They were lovely, fashionable ladies, with 
long trains and jewels and hats with big feathers. 
One of them was a Russian — she was a dancer, called 
Palowna ; she had a very short skirt of all colours, 
quite shiny, and flowers in her hair. Now she is 
called Nurse Jones of the Red Cross Society. It is 
so dull ! Before the war my dolls all slept under 
blankets in their little beds beside mine." 

'' And now ? " 

'* Now they sleep under little silk flags — the 
national flags of all the countries which fight for 
England. I keep changing them every day, but 
to-night I put the Italian flag on top of the others." 


'' Because it is very pretty ; it is green, white, 
and red. We bought it in the street yesterday. So 
you see that I am quite right, George, that war 
changes everybody and everything." 

" Am I changed } " 

'' Most changed. You were a nice little boy 
before, and a very nice bigger brother to me. And 
now you are not a real, real brother ; you forget 
me for hours and hours and days. You are only a 


T'he Book of Italy 

Scout, you only think of war and ships and aircraft 
and guns, and you keep drawing these ugly for- 
tresses and submarines. I hate the war, which 
changes everybody and everything except my pet 
robin in our back garden. '* 

" The robin is just the same, is he ? " 

"He is, and he is not. I had to change his 
name. He was called Sweetwilliam before the war, 
and£he always flew to the open window when I 
called him in that way." 

"And now?" 

"Now he is called Garibaldi, because he has 
a red waistcoat. You know. Garibaldi was an 
Italian hero in a scarlet shirt. When the war broke 
out, you were away, George, and as you were away, 
you cannot remember. It was very strange. One 
day, soon after Father went to the front, I offered a 
little cheese to the robin, as I do every morning. 
He lovesxheese, and always takes it out of my hand. 
That day I called him, as I always did, ' Sweet- 
william,' but he would not come. He perched on 
a branch near the window, and I could see he was 
very hungry. He is always hungry when it is cold 
weather, and when he has small children, because 
he gives half of the cheese to his children and eats 
half himself." 

" Well ? " 

" Well, he hopped about wildly from branch to 
branch. I held out the cheese so long that my 
fingers were quite blue. I called him over and 
over again by his very own name. He would not 
come, he would not take anything out of my hand ; 
he turned his head away, as if he was sick, and then 


o 5: 

< ^ 



he got quite angry and ruffled his feathers and 
screamed and flew away." 

" Did he come back ? " 

" Yes ; but not all that day. I was so sad, so 
lonely, as sad and lonely as I am to-night — I don't 
know exactly why. Then next day I told Uncle 
Fred all about it at breakfast. Uncle Fred knows 
much about birds, but he was in a great hurry, 
because he was going to Belgium, and he only 
laughed and laughed loudly. Then he said, * Well 
done, little patriotic robin ! ' and as he kissed me 
good-bye, he said : * Mary, you should christen 
your bird Garibaldi ; ' and he told me about the 
Italian soldier who was so good, so brave, and so 
true, and who wore a red shirt. Next day I opened 
the window, and I shouted : ' Garibaldi, Garibaldi,' 
and the robin came at once. He was very, very 
pleased, and he ate quite a lot from my hand. 
Nurse said it was French cheese, and since then he 
takes it every day. He has two children now, a 
boy and a girl — brother and sister like you and me ; 
and I have called them Joffre and Joffrette — pretty 
names I saw in Nurse's horrid paper. ..." 

" Listen, Mary. There is a regiment coming 
— do you hear the band ? The soldiers are in the 
street. I want to be a soldier too." 

" And leave me all alone ? " 

" I must defend England, and Mother, and you." 

" But you are only a boy ! " 

" Even a boy can help." 

Before Mary could turn round, George had left 
the room, and had joined the soldiers in the street 


T'he Book of Italy 

The old house was very still. It was almost 
dark now ; the music of the drums and fifes had 
died away in the distance ; no sound was heard 
excepting the sobs of a very lonely little girl ; and 
in the back garden a robin was chirping his young 
ones to sleep in their nest. 

Lilly Frazer. 



There were two men who had been friends at 
school together and afterwards at Cambridge ; and 
the friendship continued when Hfe called them in 
different directions, for one became a poet and, by 
his cerebral output, earned a sufficiency, but the 
other, going about his father's business, became 
a stockbroker and amassed real wealth ; so that 
the poet could, and did, say, " Dine with me 
at the Restaurant Quelquechose in Soho," and the 
stockbroker replied, " Thanks, old man ; I should 
like it. Just one condition, though — if you pay for 
the dinner, you must let me pay for the wine." 
And to this the poet agreed. Incidentally, one may 
add that the bill for the dinner was five shillings, 
and the bill for the wine was thirty-five. 

And afterwards they went to the poet's chambers 
in one of the old inns of London. This was partly 
because, in recompense for their sorrows, it is given 
to poets who live in old places to make the best 
coffee in the world, such as stockbrokers, with many 
to serve them, may not hope to attain, and partly 
because these rooms gave facilities for private talk, 
and partly because of certain licensing restrictions. 

There, in the quiet (though so near to the roar of 
London), these two men smoked rich cigars, about 
four inches over life-size, and provided by the stock- 


"The Book of Italy 

broker. And the poet proposed that, using the 
agency of the stockbroker, he should buy a very 
large quantity of a certain stock for an immediate 
rise, and so become really wealthy. 

To this the stockbroker replied that his firm 
did not do that class of business. He said, further, 
that the speculation was insane, and told what fate 
awaited weak bulls. And then he added that the 
poet did not need wealth. He might think he did, 
but he was mistaken. For the materials of poetry 
were sorrows, and sunsets, and the love of women, 
and these things were without money and without 

And then the poet tried to speak the truth. And 
as this did not happen every day, I here put his 
words on record. Whether they be erroneous or 
not, you who read shall judge. 

" You'd be all right, old man, if there were no 
other people in the world. The one reason why I 
want money is to buy the opinion of other people, 
and to shelter me from the terrible effects of having 
anything to do with other people. As it is, almost 
all the money I spend is spent, quite cheerfully, to 
buy opinion. I cannot conceive that, if there were 
no other people, I should ever have bought a safety- 
razor or a trousers-press. So far as the climate 
allowed, I should not wear clothes at all. I should 
never dine, in the accepted sense of the term. I 
should never read — few really creative minds care 
much about reading — they would sooner be doing 
their own work. I should not, as at present, be fool 
enough to buy needless furniture, pictures, and 
books, to pay rent for a place to store them in, and 

I'he Poet and the Stockbroker 

to pay again for an old woman to come in and keep 
them clean — which, by the way, the blighter doesn't. 
I should rarely have recourse to alcohol, or coffee, 
or other stimulants — which are necessary now, 
directly or indirectly, from the friction of inter- 
course with other people. You cannot concieve 
how little I really need. You speak of sorrows, 
sunsets, and the love of women. My dear chap, 
you forget that you are speaking to a poet, or you 
forget what the word means. Sorrows ? I make 
them in my own factory. Sunsets ? Nature limps 
miserably miles behind our best colourists. The 
love of women } If the women are real, that love 
is never without its price. But think of the golden 
power of imagination. I have held Helen of Troy 
in my arms, I have climbed up to Juliet's balcony. 
Lady Hamilton has stepped from a Romney picture 
to dance with me. Listen, my portly stockbroker, 
whose income-tax by far exceeds my income. You 
sit there, with your fat old fingers, crooked round 
the glass, and you think you see before you an old 
friend who is a poor devil of a scribbler. Why, 
you're looking at a man who has kissed Aphrodite 
on the mouth. 

" You are also looking at a pretty mean specimen 
of the common worm. When I leave your house 
after dinner, I tell the footman to get me a taxi. 
I could perfectly well walk, but I do not want the 
footman to think badly of me. I once spent far 
more than I could afford on a fur coat, not to keep 
me warm, but in order that other people should 
think me richer than I was. At this moment I 
want a good motor-car, to a lesser extent for the 

N 163 

^he Book of Italy 

pleasure of driving and to take me about, and to 
a far greater extent in order that other people may 
know that I have a good motor-car. Pretty vulgar, 
isn't it ? 

*' Yes, but it's not my vulgarity ; it's the vulgarity 
of the other people. One pays something to be a poet. 
One pays for it by an excessive, hypertrophied, 
damnable sensitiveness. I cannot live in a hostile 
atmosphere. I don't know that I want admiration, 
but I cannot tolerate contempt. If other people 
have vulgar standards — and they nearly all have — 
then I must conform to vulgar standards. There 
are plenty of people whom I despise, but there is 
not one person on the earth whose good opinion 
and good will I would not make sacrifices to get. 
If I met an imbecile Aztec pauper, I should try to 
impress him. 

" So you see my point. I don't care about money, 
and don't want anything, if I may be alone. But 
because other people do care for money, and do 
think that one wants many things, and could never 
understand me, I am driven to falsify myself. Be- 
cause I am a poet, I must also be a worm, and a 
snob, and a bounder." 

And at this the stockbroker, after observing that 
worms did not bound, turned the conversation, 
justifiably, to a discussion of the Balkan Crisis. 

Barry Pain. 



Looking towards the long range of snow-covered 
mountains from Lombardy, one wonders what 
strange secrets are shrouded in their mists. They 
are ever-changing — one moment all is hidden be- 
neath heavy storm-clouds, then a snow-peak, 
flushed by the rising sun, gleams out, and gradually 
the clouds roll away in weird fantastic shapes like 
wandering spirits. The mountains change from 
grey and purple to the loveliest blue, the peaks lose 
their terrifying aspect, and in their tranquillity tempt 
one to explore their wildness. 

In the plains the peasants often go to their 
work singing, and are communicative and eager to 
talk ; but in the mountains they become silent, 
for they are much alone — sometimes in the high 
pasture-land for weeks at a time without seeing a 
human being. They watch the storms and sun- 
sets, and grow most observant of nature, and 
living in these surroundings it is not surprising 
to find they have such vivid imaginations. But it 
is not until one has gained their confidence that 
they will talk of their beliefs and fears — and then 
one realises what a great part these play in their 

When near a glacier, every peasant will tell how 
they have seen the " cours,'' the strange procession 
of the spirits of the dead winding through the 


I'he Book of Italy 

mountains on their way to the glacier singing the 
" Miserere." For a penance they have to pick out 
steps in the ice with a pin, so that at last they may 
pass from purgatory to paradise. The peasants 
even say that they have walked along by the side 
of these weird companies, and have seen the shining 
halos round their heads and hands. 

Sometimes they describe the spirits as being 
dressed in ordinary clothes and carrying bundles 
wrapped in white tied to staves held on their 
shoulders, and when they speak it is so low that 
their conversation cannot be understood. 

Two girls I knew, said they walked along with 
the procession to see if they could recognise any- 
one. At last the younger girl said to her sister : 
" Let us turn our lantern on their faces, perchance 
we may see some one we know." When the lantern 
was flashed, the spirit said : ** We go our road 
without disturbing you ; you go your road without 
disturbing us," and two by two the spirits passed 
on in silence. 

Other peasants say these companies are led by 
living flames, or by the ghost of the wickedest one 
very richly dressed, who when he comes to a 
precipice has to bend down his body, which is 
miraculously lengthened out to reach the other 
side, thus forming a bridge over which the other 
spirits can pass. Children, they say, often mistake 
these phantoms for human beings carrying lights, 
and when they have asked for one, they have been 
given something luminous which in the morning 
has turned out to be the phosphorescent bone of 
the spirit's little finger. Until the child returns the 

Estella Canziani 

In the Mountains of Italy 

luminous bone, the spirit is forced to go weeping 
at the end of the procession, for otherwise he 
will have no light to guide him on his way to 

If there is a queerly-shaped rock it is certain to 
have some legend connected with it. An old shep- 
herd told the following story about a boulder at a 
place called Piantalor. A hunter named Gebbe 
went off hunting one night ; he walked all day into 
the higher mountains, arriving at Piantalor in the 
evening, and lay down to sleep on the rock. In the 
middle of the night he was awakened by the flare 
of a burning pine-tree, which was so brilliant that 
it lighted up the grass and moss even in the sur- 
rounding valleys. Seated on every stone near where 
he lay, he saw the shadowy figures of beautiful 
maidens. At first all was silent save for the sound 
of the burning wood. Then one by one the girls 
burst into song, singing as they rose and danced : 

" O del Cielo gran Regina 
Tu sei degna d'ogni amor ; 
La beltade tua divina, 
Chi non ama, non ha cuor.'* 

As each phantom glided by with her flowing 
veil, Gebbe thought she was going to seize him, 
and was very frightened. At last the flame died 
down, and there was nothing left except a column 
of smoke rising to heaven. His fear subsided, and 
he watched the singers rise and follow their leader, 
who touched the mysterious stone, which opened, 
revealing a cavern with a staircase descending into 
the depths of the earth. The spirits went down the 


T'he Book of Italy 

stairway, and when the last had disappeared, shut 
the cavern with such a crash that it shook the whole 
earth. Who knows whether the cavern contains 
immense riches, and will its mystery ever be 
fathomed ? 

In every district there is a strong belief in 
witches, and in their evil spells, especially over 
children. Sometimes a baby is said to have been 
snatched from its cradle, and a witch-baby put in 
its place. This changeling is always naughty, is 
often very ugly and cannot speak. After years of 
trouble the mother will by chance put eggs and 
polenta to roast on the hearth, and this so excites 
the witch-baby that it cries out : "In all the hun- 
dreds of years that I have lived, I have never seen 
so many eggs and so much polenta before.'' The 
peasant then knows that he is a witch-child, and has 
lived hundreds of years. She thereupon seizes him 
and beats him, until his cries bring his own witch- 
mother, who snatches him away, returning the 
human baby to its parents. 

A peasant living in a little lonely village told 
the following story : A tinker once strolled into the 
house of two witches, mother and daughter. He 
did a day's work for them, and asked if he might 
rest the night there. As he was dozing off to sleep 
he overheard the following conversation : "A baby 
was born to the tinker last night — shall we take it 
from him ? " The witches agreed to do this. They 
greased themselves with some ointment out of a 
pot, and flew away, calling out : " High and low, 
carry me out of the reach of shrubs, branches, and 
trees." The tinker then greased himself with some 

In the Mountains of Italy 

of the same ointment, and called out : " Carry me 
one hour sooner." In his anxiety to save his 
baby he forgot the other words, and he arrived home 
torn and bleeding in his rush through the bushes. 
He lay down and watched his child, and soon a 
black cat appeared, who stretched out a paw to 
seize the infant. The tinker was ready with an 
old sword, and, aiming well, he cut off the cat's 
paw. Once more the witches uttered their magic 
words and flew back home, followed by the 

Next morning, when he asked to be paid for his 
day's work, the old mother counted out the money 
with her left hand. The tinker insisted that it 
should be done with the right. He then saw that 
she only had a stump, and drawing the cat's paw 
from his pocket, he found to his amazement that it 
fitted exactly. 

Besides legends, there are numerous songs and 
proverbs which the peasants sing and teach their 
children. What could be more charming than the 
following cradle-song } 



Fa la nina, 

(Sleep, my little one, 

Fa la nana, 

Sleep, little one. 

T'ses le gioja 

Thou art the joy 

D'tua mama. 

Of thy mother. 



Fa la nina, 

Sleep, my little one, 

Fa la nana. 

Sleep, little one. 

Tses la gioja 

Thou art the joy 

To pap^. 

Of thy father.) 


T'he Book of Italy 

What could give better advice than these two 
proverbs ? 

'' Chi a la pasienssa cun el fil, 

A I'a pasienssa cun el mari " 
(" Who has patience with the thread, 

Has patience with the husband " ; 


'' Chi r^ paura del cauld dl'ista 
A cherpa d'fam an tl'invern " 

(" He who fears the heat of summer, 
Will die of hunger in the winter "). 

But it is only when wandering from valley to 
valley, entering into the lives of the peasants, work- 
ing with them, nursing their babies whilst the 
mothers attend to their duties, that gradually one 
sees how endless and varied are their ideas. Every 
plant is known for its value as a medicine. If one 
gathers a bunch of flowers for the sake of their 
beauty, the first question asked is : " For what sick- 
ness art thou going to use them ? " 

The real time for stories and song is in the 
evenings, when the family with their goats and cows 
have come down from the mountains, and are 
gathered together in the stable. The door is shut 
to keep in the warmth, and the mother of the family 
warms the soup over a fire smouldering between 
a few stones in the middle of the floor. Through 
the smoke and gloom the faces of the peasants peer 
forth strange and gnome-like. The silence is only 
broken by the cows chewing the cud ; the chickens 
fluttering up to roost on the rough wooden beds. 
When snuff has been offered and accepted by host and 
guest alike, it is then, and only then, that the reserve 
of the peasant is broken and the evening is passed in 
story, song, and game. ^ ^ 




Rose of the south, whose young fair face 

Has borrowed all the rose's grace, 

Straight as a lance, you aptly claim 

The heritage of Manfred's name : 

Slight as its shaft — to me you seem 

To glide from out some old-world dream, 

Some rare and unensanguined page 

Of story from the middle-age ; 

The princess of some castled isle 

Who earned a ransom with a smile, 

Or held at bay man's brute offence 

Disarmed before her innocence. 

Still, though you grace our graceless days 

And meet me in romanceless ways, 

I see across your eyes' dark glance 

The flashing of the Suabian's lance, 

And through the smile of your young mouth 

Immortal roses of the south. 

Rennell Rodd, 



- wuJ Jf « ^ OihXk, mx^c^ -V V -vc '^a viwr vvvt^c^ o W\ <v«<v W\^ if W . . 



There is no creature in the world so proud as a 
gondola, unless perhaps it be a camel in his own 
desert, or in the market-place of some desert- 
bordering city. Possibly this seems so because we 
only see him in his own ancient town, stabled under- 
neath palatial porticoes in the Grand Canal, or 
prowling silently down little secret ways where 
ever and anon an old green door aswing in a wall 
of marble suggests some mystery that the gondola 
knows. I cannot say how he would appear to us 
if we saw him on the Thames — whether he would 
go drifting under the bridges as the barges do, 
wearing the weary air of some captive pent in 
Babylon, or whether, even though a slave, his pride 
would not desert him, and he would go by, though 
piled up high with merchandise, still wearing that 
lofty, haughty air of his and standing out jet black, 
even against London, an alien fierce and notable, 
so that some Venetian by chance beholding him 
would burst into song. I think it is more likely 
that on being transported his timbers would rot 
asunder, and that when they launched him he 
would instantly sink, dying as was the custom of 
barbarian kings destined for some triumph of old 
Rome ; and his soul would go home by the long 
ways of the sea, round Cape Tarifa, through the 
Mediterranean, and up the Adriatic to the Lido, 
and into Venice with the rise of the tide. 


"The Book of Italy 

Certainly, seen in his own land, the bearing of a 
gondola is magnificent. Easily moved to anger, 
they are splendid even in their wrath. Nothing 
else dares to dispute with them the right of the 
ways of Venice except the steamers on the Grand 
Canal. When these go by, the gondolas stand 
absolutely motionless at their moorings with their 
disdainful heads in air. But a moment after- 
wards their fury vents itself. They toss their 
stately heads and stamp on the water ; they, the 
descendants of the old sea-horses, whose crests they 
bear to-day, to be disturbed by the snorts of a 
modern ship made out of machinery without a 
soul ! And they jostle and quarrel with one another 
in their fury, and the gondoliers awake from sleep 
and swear, and for a long time there is anger among 
the gondolas. 

In spring and summer, as soon as the night has 
fallen, lanterns are lit on rafts out in the open 
lagoon, and men and women sing, and then from 
the palaces whereby they are stabled, and from little 
alleys and by-ways of the sea the nodding gondolas 
come one by one, peering toward the lights. And 
more and more glide quietly in, all nodding as they 
come, and draw themselves up in rows all round 
the music, like great wise moths that some beautiful 
candle has lured out of the night, who are content 
to watch it without ruin. And gathered there 
around the music and lights, their shapely heads 
lift slowly sleepily up, and fall again in rhythm to 
the faint echo of the throb of the pulse of the 
Adriatic elate with some far-off storm. 

No two gondolas are alike. You tell them by 

The Book, of It^^" 

Certainly J seen, in iiiii ovvii iauo oi a 

gondola is magnificent. Easily iv - r, 

they are splendid even in their wr^ ^ 

else dares to dispute with them the right ot 
ways of Venice except the steamers on the G 
Canal. When these go by, the gondolas siair..i 
absolutely motionless at their moorings with their 
disdainful heads in air. But a moment after- 
wards their fury vents itself. They toss their 
stately heads and stamp on the water ; they, the 
descendants of the old sea-horses, whose crests they 
bear to-day, to be disturbed by the snorts of a 
modern ship made out of machinery without a 
soiil ! And they jostle ar ' rei with one ' r 

in their fury, and the gc s awake froti ; p 

and swear, and for a lone here is aneer arrj^^n^ 


T • A a^^iy Woods, R.A. .1 ♦ 1 . ! ^ 

In spnng and suminrr, as soon as the mgnt h^ 
fallen, lanterns are lit on rafts out in the open 
lagoon, and men and women sing, and then from 
the palaces whereby they are stabled, and from little 
alleys and by-ways of the sea the nodding gondolas 
come one by oncj peering toward the 
more and more glide quietly in, all n^ i> lux^y 

come, and draw themselves -^d ^n r : round 

the music, like greaJt wise mc :t some beautiful 

candle has lured out of the mght, who are cor 
to watch it without ruin. And g: 
around the music and ligh* ■^»^^^'' 
lift slowly sleepily up, and i 

the faint echo of the throb of the pulse of the 
Adriatic elate with some far-off - 

No two gondutes are alike. = them by 


their faces as one tells men, and the steel face of 
every gondola differs from every other in Venice. 

I am fond of the gondolas. I know that he 
great steamships whom the gondolas despise, and 
who hate the gondolas, can move much faster than 
any one of them, if one must needs be in a hurry. 
I know that the whole system under which the 
gondolas exist is an artificial one. I know that 
the Adriatic will one day sweep away the mud- 
banks and whelm Venice, and that not one gondola 
will ever weather that storm. 

Nevertheless I love the gondolas. For they 
have in their hearts the pride of the old sea-horses, 
and theirs is the grace of princely bygone times. 
And they have carried me into their favourite haunts, 
to and fro through little darkening ways, where 
strange faces peer from little windows and songs 
begin to arise, when the sunset, unseen from the 
waterways, is turning the palaces into haunts of 
faery in which dwelt the princes of Once-upon- 
a-time and the people of Over-the-hills-and-far- 

AH this the bats know, who the whole day long 
hang silent under marmorean eaves, but at sunset 
drop head downwards from their homes, when all 
the bugles speak in foreign tongues, and the great 
alien vessels furl their flags, and the bats pass up 
and down and to and fro and know all the ways 
of Venice. 

Duns ANY. 



Vesuvius, purple under purple skies 
Beyond the purple, still, unrippling sea ; 
Sheer amber lightning, streaming ceaselessly 
From heaven to earth, dazzling bewildered eyes 
With all the terror of beauty : thus day dies 
That dawned in blue, unclouded innocency ; 
And thus we look our last on Italy, 
That soon, obscured by night, behind us lies. 

And night descends on us, tempestuous night, 
Night, torn with terror, as we sail the deep. 
And like a cataract down a mountain-steep 
Pours, loud with thunder, that red perilous fire . . 
Yet shall the dawn, O land of our desire. 
Show thee again, re-orient, crowned with light ! 

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson. 



Most of us who have lived a good long time have 
found some part of the world to look on as the 
happy hunting-ground of our spirits, the place most 
blessed by memory. And within that sacred circle 
there will be some spot above all others, enchanted. 
Tre Cime di Lavaredo ! Drei Zinnen ! You 
three rock mountains above Misurina of the Italian 
Tyrol — how many times have we not climbed up, 
to lie on your high, stony slopes, steeping our eyes 
in wild form and colour, wherefrom even a dull 
spirit must take wings and soar a little. Width of 
thought is surely born, in some sort, of majestic 
sights — cloud forms, and a burning sky, rock pin- 
nacles, and wandering, deep-down valleys, the grey- 
violet shadows on the hills, the frozen serenity of 
far snows. All the outspread miracle there lies fan- 
shaped to the south, south-east, south-west, having 
the southern warmth, that something which so 
makes the heart rejoice the moment one passes 
over and looks southward from any mountain. 
What traveller does not feel strange loveliness steal 
up into his soul from southern slopes ? Domo- 
dossola below the Simplon ; Val d'Aosta beyond 
the Matterhorn ; Bormio beneath the Stelvio ; and 
many another holy place. It is not merely charm and 
mellowness — the south can be savage as the north — 
it is some added poignancy of form and colour, and 
a look of being blessed. 


T^he Book of Italy 

Tre Cime di Lavaredo 1 Music comes drifting 
up your slopes, from pasture far down enough to 
give magic to the cow-bells. 

And now, up where but three years ago we 
watched a little white cow licking its herd's sprained 
hand, they are fighting to the death. Batteries must 
be adorning that steep forcella running from the 
refuge hut. A new kind of thunder reverberates, 
in whose roar the stones that were for ever falling 
will have lost their voices. And the beasts — the grey, 
the dun, the white, mild-eyed — ^their pasture below 
must be a desert ! Even the goats surely have 
gone. Or do they and their young masters attend 
placidly on these new mysteries, just pricking their 
ears now and again at some too raucous clap and 
clatter of guns ? 

If men are being killed up there, let them be buried 
in their tracks ! Out of their bodies on the lower 
slopes a few more flowers will spring — gentian, 
mountain dandelion, alpen rose ; round the peaks 
they will be grateful food for root of edelweiss. 
And may their spirits — if men have such after 
death — stay up there on those wild heights ! No- 
where else could they have such pure, free flitting 
space ! Friend-spirit, foe-spirit, they will fight no 
more, but on the winter nights in comradeship 
haunt about the frozen hills, where no shred of man 
or beast or bird or plant is left, till Spring comes 

To fight up here, where Nature has designed 
one vast demonstration of her own fierce untame- 
ness, of all the stubborn face she opposes to the 
arts of man ! What irony ! Up in this wild, 


T're Cime di Lavaredo 

stony citadel, among these rock minarets and red- 
and - gold - stained bastions, above ravines remote 
from man — up here, where in winter all is ice, and 
even in summer no green thing grows ; on these 
invincible outposts of an Earth subdued by incal- 
culable human toil throughout a million years ; 
among these sublime unconquered monuments, re- 
minding man of labour and peril infinite in his 
long death-grip with Nature — up here man has 
fellow-man by the throat. Yea ! It is irony com- 
plete ! Nor the less perfect, in that each soldier on 
these heights who in duty clubs his fellow- Christian's 
brains out, or sends forth the shell that shall mingle 
his body with the rock rubble and the edelweiss, 
and sets up a little cross, perhaps, to the departed 
soul, is a true hero, holding his life in his hand 
throwing it down grandly for his country's honour. 
Verily we are strange animals, we men — little 
walking magazines of too gVeat vitality! Out of 
our sheer rampancy comes War ; as though super- 
fluity of vital fluid were for ever accumulating, to 
free ourselves of which we have found as yet no 
better way than this. Shall we never learn to 
spend the surplus of our vital force in efforts of 
salvation, rather than destruction ? If the moun- 
tains cannot teach us, and the wide night skies above 
them, sparkling with other worlds, then nothing 
will. For — on mountains and beneath such skies, 
man feels at his greatest, flies far in fancy, dreams 
of nobility ; yet does he perceive what a puny 
midget of a creature walks on his two feet, glad of 
any little help he can get or give, avid of goodwill 
from any living thing. In loneliness up here he 

o 179 

T'he Book of Italy 

would soon be frozen and starved, or slip to death. 
His tiny strength, his feeble cunning, should avail 
him but short span. Unroped to other men, he is 
but a sigh in the night, a cross of bleaching lime in 
the sunlight. . . . 

Tre Cime di Lavaredo ! Golden sounds of a 
golden speech ! When, if ever, we see your beloved 
rocks again, that will be your only name ; no longer 
will the words Drei Zinnen compete for you. . . . 
And will you know the difference ? As of old, 
gigantic — silent, or, desolately, in the loosening rains 
and heat casting down your stones — ^you will lift 
up your black defiance in the clear mountain nights, 
your grandeur to the sun by day. 

Once we saw you with the young moon flying 
toward, like a white swallow, like an arrow aimed at 
your hearts, as it might be in duel between bright 
swiftness and dark strength. The moon was van- 
quished — for she flew into you that stood unmoved. 

Tre Cime di Lavaredo ! You will outlast the 
race of men upon this earth. When we, quarrel- 
some midget heroes that we be, are all frozen from 
this planet, you will be there, whitened for ever 
from head to foot. Only, you will have no name 
— neither of north nor south ! 

John Galsworthy. 

September 3, 191 5. 



Sogno Veneziano 

I SLEPT in Venice. The bright windy day 

Merged into night, along the Zattere, 

Over the long Giudecca luminous. 

The night was bright and windy ; and 'twas thus 

I fell asleep and let the moonlight fall 

Across my face, and scatter on the wall ; 

And thus I came into the moonlight spell. 

I dreamed ; and in my dream a darkness fell 

Upon the land and water, and the night 

Poured like a flood across the infinite. 

Then, as I dreamed, the billowy darkness broke 

At some soft, slow, insinuating stroke. 

And lo ! a little core of light began 

To waken softly, and its rays out-ran. 

And, by insensible degrees, increased 

Into the semblance of a phantom East ; 

And the whole night gathered and overflowed, 

Flood upon flood, until a shining road 

Of level water lay out endlessly 

Into the outer reaches of the sea. 

I floated forth lightly upon it, and 

Suddenly, round me, there was no more land, 

But rioting from the depths of the sea's caves, 

The shining floor broke into hollow waves, 


T'he Book of Italy 

And rocked the house about me, and drove me on 

Into the night of waters. Land was gone, 

The whole Hve Earth shrank Hke a startled snail 

Into the shell of heaped-up waters, pale 

As moonlight in the moonlight, and now curled 

Under and over and round about the world. 

And the waves drew me, and the treacherous night 

Into the circle of its infinite 

Would fain have sucked me, and I saw the moon 

Laughing an evil laugh, and the stars swoon 

Into an ecstasy of merriment. 

Then, knowing I was wholly lost, I sent 

A great cry shouting up into the sky. 

And leapt upright, and with an echoing cry 

Over my head I heard the waters hiss ; 

And I fell slowly down the sheer abyss. 

Age after endless age of such intense 

And unimaginably sharp suspense. 

That soul and body parted at the stroke ; 

And with the utter anguish I awoke. 

And saw the night grow softly into day 

Outside my windows on the Zattere. 

Arthur Symons. 



Charles J. Watson, R.E, 


The two sat looking at me with that wistful, plead- 
ing expression in their eyes that most of us have 
seen in the eyes of a suffering animal which knows 
its pain, but would seek also to know from us the 
reason why that pain should have come to it. It 
is a look which we hate to see in the eyes of any 
stricken creature ; in those of a stricken human 
being it is well-nigh intolerable, because it brings 
home to us our own impotence to f answer the 
greatest question of all. We know that if we could 
answer this question satisfactorily, or even plausibly, 
whether to man or beast, we should be the wisest 
of all mortals, sharing our knowledge with the 
angels alone. 

It was difficult to believe, as I walked through 
the vineyards and campi that morning in late 
summer, that the world lay groaning under the 
scourge of war. Peace and tranquillity seemed to 
be writ large on the face of the smiling Tuscan 
landscape. The dew still lingered on the grapes, 
and on the banks of the vineyards gay with wild 
geranium and starred here and there with the 
autumn crocus. There was no sound in the still 
air save the shrilling of grasshoppers, the occasional 
lowing of great, white oxen, and, every now and 
then, a snatch of song from some concealed con- 
tadino working on the fields down in the valley. 


The Book of Italy 

The contrast between the world as God intended it 
to be, and the world as man was making it, seemed 
to be brought into a sharper relief than ever by a 
sermon which was being preached by Nature her- 
self, the greatest of all teachers. The incredible, 
unutterable folly and wickedness of man, delibe- 
rately planning and seeking his own misery and 
destruction, needed no deeper or more ironical 
condemnation than that conveyed by Nature speak- 
ing in her own clear language that summer morning. 
And the pity of it was that she was speaking the 
same language and teaching the same divine doctrine 
not only here in these peaceful Tuscan hills and 
valleys, but also within a stone's throw of trenches 
and battle-fields where twenty centuries of vaunted 
Christian civilisation were being undone, and the 
doctrines of Christ denied and trampled under 
foot — speaking, alas ! to those who, having ears, hear 
not, and whose understanding is blunted by the 
lust for power and blood. 

Perhaps it was the sudden snatches of stornelliy 
which ceased almost as soon as begun, which made 
me realise that the sorrows of war lay much closer 
to the tranquil, pastoral scene around me than 
might be suspected. To one unacquainted with 
the Tuscan country, these snatches of song at once 
dying away into silence would have conveyed little 
or no significance — a peasant singing to himself, 
and too lazy to sing — nothing more. But to one 
knowing Tuscany, these spiritless snatches of star- 
nelli spoke of a shadow brooding over the usual 
Tuscan light-heartedness, the shadow of war ever 
creeping closer and closer, and stealthily enveloping 

A "Tuscan Episode 

the land. In ordinary times the stornello would 
have been taken up by other young peasant voices. 
It would not have dropped into silence as though 
the singer's mind were occupied by other thoughts 
than love or a malicious desire to prendere in giro his 
neighbour — thoughts too grave to find their utter- 
ance in song. Indeed, the singer on this occasion 
must have known very well that there were none 
to take up his refrain or to challenge his sentiments ; 
those who would have been prompt to do so at other 
times were now far away, fighting the hated Aus- 
trians. Half-way on the rough track leading down 
into one of the innumerable little valleys in the 
Pisan hills, a peasant's house and out-buildings 
nestled beneath a group of plane-trees. It was 
here that I was bent, for I had heard the evening 
before that to this cottage one of those fatal letters 
had come, announcing to the contadino and his 
wife the fall of the elder of their two sons in an 
assault on one of the mountain positions occupied 
by the Austrian troops. The second boy, luckily 
for the parents, was still a child. But with the 
fallen lad had gone, as I well knew, the main support 
of the family, for the father had for long been 
in ill-health, and could do but little work on the 
poderi. What comfort could one bring to such a 
home as this ? To others, stricken in a similar way, 
it would, no doubt, have been customary to dwell 
upon the honour and glory of having given a son 
to the cause of la Patria ; to have pointed out that 
the sacrifice had not been made in vain ; to have 
attempted consolation by suggesting that this was 
a grief which was daily visiting thousands of other 


716^ Book of Italy 

parents and families ; to have offered, in short, 
any one of those stock platitudes which are usually 
deemed to be consolatory and also fitting in similar 
circumstances, with occasional allusions to resig- 
nation to the will of God thrown in. I had scarcely 
entered the dwelling before it became evident to me 
that, even had I any desire to offer consolatory 
platitudes, this was neither the time nor the com- 
pany in which to utter them. Something, I know 
not what, made me realise that silence was the best 
sympathy I could offer to the contadino and his 
wife, who, for several minutes after my entrance, 
stood and looked at me with that unuttered question 
in their weary but patient eyes ; and in silence I 
held their brown hands, knowing that neither I 
nor any man living had the knowledge, or the right, 
to answer their dumb appeal. 

" I know that Italo was everything to you," I 
said presently, for the silence grew intolerable, 
" but you must remember that you have Sandro 
left. They will not take him, you know, for he 
will be a figlio unicOy and by the time he is eligible 
for military service he will be able to show that he 
is the sole support of his parents." 

" Italo was everything to us — everything, you 
understand, signoria — a good lad, one can say no 
more than that. But, signoria, you are standing," 
and the father drew a chair towards me. " Yes," 
he continued, *' the letter came yesterday, to the 
sindacOy and they sent it down here. They say 
Italo has died for la Patriay and that we should be 
proud of him. Ma, veda, signoriay we were always 
proud of him. It did not need la Patria to make us 

A T'uscan Episode 

that, and what can the dead do to make us proud 
of them any more ? And now the land will suffer, 
and the beasts, for Italo was no vagabondo ; he 
worked, signoria^ and he had learned from books, 
too — not like me, who am ignorant. Sometimes, 
when the winter came, he would go away and work 
at other things, but always he sent us his earnings, 
for he was a good son." 

For a moment I felt an unpleasing sense of a 
certain sordidness betraying itself. I wished that 
the father of the fallen lad had not alluded to 
material matters. I turned to the mother. ** You 
must try to have courage,*' I said, compelled to 
descend to platitudes ; *' Italo did his duty to you 
both in his life, and in his death he did his duty 
to his country — so even though he is no longer 
here, you should continue always to be proud of 
him." Without answering, Italo 's mother went to 
a table and, unlocking a drawer, produced a card, 
which she handed to me. 

** A money order ! " I said, as I took it from 

** Signoriay yes — a vaglia. It came yesterday 
morning — only a few hours before they sent us the 
letter from the munidpio. You see } he sends us 
nearly two months of his pay — ^you can read what ' 
he has written on the side of the card. Sixty lirBy 
he can have kept very little for himself. But our 
Italo is always like that ! " Unconsciously, prob- 
ably, she used the present tense, and the fact that 
she did so seemed to bring the dead lad strangely 
near to us. 

** It is the last vaglia he will send us," said 


"The Book of Italy 

the contadino ; " and he has sent many, signoria 
— yes, many. When he was away at Livorno, or 
at Florence, nearly every fortnight he would send 
us the most of what he earned ; but this vaglia 
— well, it is the last he will send, sicuro ! " 

" The money will be useful, '* I replied, perhaps 
a little dryly. 

" The money ? " repeated the contadino — " what 
money ? " 

** Why, the money of the vaglia ! — ^you will 
change it, of course, at the post-office ? '* 

The father and mother both looked at me. 
" No, signoria,^' they exclaimed in the same breath. 
" No ; the post-office would take the vaglia away 
from us, and, capisce, this bit of paper was the last 
he wrote upon to us. No — the post-office may 
keep the money.'* 

And soon afterwards I left them. It seemed to 
me that they were better alone with their dead. 
But as I left them, I saw that the question in their 
eyes remained unanswered, and that it would remain 
so until God should see fit to answer it. Also, I 
was bitterly ashamed of myself for having made 
the observation regarding the utility of sixty lire, 
and for having suspected sordidness where there 
was nothing but love. 

Richard Bagot. 



Domingo Motta {Genoa) 


Through the blank horror of this war, many of 
us no doubt have prayed, even unconsciously, that 
the beauty of Italy might be spared for the refresh- 
ment of a world, beaten and bruised, lacerated and 
despoiled, as our world is to-day. We have prayed 
that the murky river of wrong and bitter pain — the 
cruel, the unimaginable material forces which one 
nation has let loose on neighbour nations for their 
destruction — might still be stayed. We have longed 
that it should not pollute yet one other of the 
gracious lands of Europe : that it should not touch 
Italy — that land more crowded with the artistic 
achievement of man than any land on earth. 
Morally, we have not wished that her new-formed 
people should escape the agonising struggle ; but 
artistically, yes, we have longed for an escape. 
And our hearts these months have crept back surely 
to the old loved places ; some have travelled here, 
some have gone there in memory. For myself, my 
thoughts have lingered most on the south side of 
the Alps which guard them, rather than amidst the 
palaces and cities of the plains. 

^ff ^F ^r 'fF ^F ^r 

As the news of June leaked into our papers, a 
poignant memory of girlhood returned to me, and 


T^he Book of Italy 

round it seemed to focus all the mustering of the 
brave Italian armies. It was the memory of a May 
evening in 1888. I had spent that spring with my 
father ^ in our little house upon the Zattere at Venice. 
My brain was soaked with the art of Venice — my 
heart filled with rare new friendships and experi- 
ences. We were to travel back to our Swiss home 
by way of Pieve di Cadore and Cortina, one of the 
great highways which lead from Italy into Austria. 
Our first night was spent in the little town of Lon- 
garone. It was late in the afternoon. The heat 
of the day had been intense, but the inn to which 
we came, with all its large palatial rooms, felt curi- 
ously cool and sleepy. I remember how I rested in 
the shade of a great salone ; sitting on one of those 
wide settees peculiar to old ItaHan inns, my feet 
cooled by the scagliola floor on which water had 
been lately sprinkled. Then the sun went down 
outside, and I threw the heavy wooden shutters 

It is nearly thirty years ago, but the scene is 
vivid in my memory. Below was the main street 
of the little town, and beyond it the walled-in 
mountain torrent ; immediately opposite was some 
fantastic, possibly a quite modern, palace, with a 
frieze of pomegranates and of fleur-de-lis, painted 
in white and brown, below its roofs. The street 
ended abruptly ; the road wound up the hillside 
to the left. Then suddenly, in the hush of the 
sunset, a little band of Bersaglieri ran quickly up 
the street, and up the road and away into the first 
gaunt crags of the mountains up beyond. My 

p John Addington Symonds. — The Editor.] 

Where the Mountains meet the Plains 

father came from his room and told me how the 
Bersaglieri always run into action and are never 
allowed to walk. We went out on the iron balcony, 
and we watched them up the mountain road till 
they disappeared amongst the shadows of the rocks. 
But long after we ceased to see their gay cocks* 
feathers and white gaiters, we could hear the shrill 
call of their bugles as they wound up the mountain- 

And I remember how, later, my father and I 
ourselves walked up the street, and the road to the 
mountain ; and how we came in the evening to a 
green meadow, where grew abundantly the white 
spiraea with feathery blossom, and amongst it, here 
and there, like torches amongst fair ladies, the 
splendid orange tiger-lily. Below us lay the brown 
roofs of the little town ; above us towered the Alps 
— those amazing natural ramparts which guard the 
Lombard cities from the cruelties of the North, 
and which have broken, though they could not 
stay, the force of so many Northern invasions. 

I shall never forget that meadow. I shall never 
forget the Bersaglieri. I have wandered much since 
then amidst the pleasant cities of the plain — Milan, 
Bergamo, Brescia, Vicenza, Verona, Padua, and 
many others, I have crossed the next great natural 
rampart of the Apennines, and come to Florence 
and the gentle hills and towns of Umbria ; and 
thence again I have passed to Rome and Naples, 
and those more fearful cities of the South. All 
the treasures of man's creative mind are here con- 


T'he Book of Italy 

tained— jewels set in a hundred natural crowns. I 
have read the history of these places, and thought 
and pondered on the whence and wherefore of their 
unparalleled loveliness, and on the genius of that 
strange mixed people who created them. Turning 
over the old chronicles, I have read of their wars 
— the fierce, fantastic wars of all the separate cities 
— cities which may be said to have arisen from the 
very blood of their citizens. What a gay and gallant 
clash of swords was theirs, after all — at least by 
comparison with modern methods. Hand to hand 
fights they were — things of the miraculous incon- 
sequence of children's quarrels ! 

And what a wealthy heritage we have gained 
from all that curious jumbled history. For whilst 
the blood of the young men coursed through the 
piazzas, whilst citizens poured stones and boiling 
oil on the heads of the approaching hordes, up in 
some quiet room of an old palace, or down by the 
altars of a new-built church or chapel, men who were 
passionately acquainted with Beauty in all her forms, 
would set their easels up, or hang their mighty can- 
vases ; and there, through all the noise and stress, 
would sit the whole day through, painting their placid 
pictures, cutting their golden marbles — creating just 
because of, or in spite of the wrong and turmoil, 
those pictures and those sunny marble garlands 
which we may pray for power to make, in vain. 

Yes, they are very good to think about, the cities 
of Italy. But always, in memory, I myself come 
back to the delightful unfrequented places where 

JVhere the Mountains meet the Plains 

the mountains meet the plains, and where the 
spirit, rather than the achievement of the Italians, 
seems to me most to linger. When exhausted by 
the purposeless and often hideous crowd of red- 
brick English villas, I still can close my eyes and 
can remember, how somewhere, for miles on count- 
less miles, the great Alps roll, down to the great 
plains. I can see the granite boulders at Chiavenna, 
with the fantastic curves of the chestnut trees which 
spring above them ; the sparkling mountain streams, 
the delicate green pastures where snowflakes and 
narcissus grow in spring. I can see the shimmer 
of lilac crocus round the tall barocco churches in 
September ; the slender campaniles with their bells 
against the sky ; and the wayside shrines with poor, 
but passionate, paintings of our Lord. And women 
I can see, beautiful as Titian's women, with copper 
pails or baskets on their heads ; and children, brown 
and lithe as fawns, dancing on autumn afternoons 
around the white ash of their chestnut fires, in 
woods where the traveller rarely goes, but where 
the Bersaglieri mustered this summer of dread and 

Margaret Vaughan. 




Towards the close of the last century the writer 
of these lines, investigating the social and economic 
situation of South Italy, alighted at a small wayside 
station in Old Calabria, in the far-away heel of the 
boot of Italy — a remote spot unvisited by the tourist, 
unknown even to the travelling Italian. It was 
before the days of State railways, and the infir- 
mities of the way-and-weather-worn first-class car- 
riage in which he travelled needed first aid with 
hammer and nails before it was in a condition to 
leave Lecce. 

Comparisons are sometimes made between Eng- 
lish and Continental standards of hospitality, to the 
detriment of the latter. The writer can truly say 
that, possessing no other credential than a brief, 
formal introduction, he was welcomed with a cor- 
diality, a courtesy and delicacy of manner that 
formed the prelude to a Hfelong friendship. '* Here,'* 
said his genial host, ** is your room where you can 
quietly write ; such are the hours of our repasts ; 
my sons will drive you about and assist you in your 
inquiries.'' It was a large palazzo, with lofty rooms 
and painted ceilings, a private chapel, a loggia, and 
charming garden with vine and orange, and a 

c// Fine Italian Gentleman 

classic exhedra at the end containing a bust of 
Dante, with the inscription Non surse il secondo. 
A patriarchal household, with pensioners and depen- 
dents not a few, its mistress the Baronessa, a stately 
Italian gentlewoman of rare charm and matronly 

Much has been written of the evils and deficiencies 
of the Italian south ; of absenteeism, of illiteracy, 
of poverty, of corruption, of laziness. Laziness ! 
When the Southern Italian is he who, among all 
European labourers, will perform the greatest 
amount of efficient work for the smallest pay ; who 
will cross the ocean to reap one harvest on the 
burning plains of Argentina, and return to reap an- 
other under the fiery sun of South Italy. 

Truly in those days, before remedial legislation 
and emigration to America, with its consequent 
influx of money, its contact with a higher standard 
of living, had brought about the relative economic 
improvement now everywhere visible, material exist- 
ence was low enough compared with Western 
standards. And what a land it was that met the 
traveller's gaze as he rolled along in the roomy 
ancestral berlina from the railway station to his 
destination! A vast, torrid, stony plain, curiously 
Eastern in aspect, with its low, flat-roofed houses, 
and here and there a palm tree lifting its tall fronds 
over the scene — a land significantly known as the 
Sassomay where the bare bones of mother earth 
protruded, gaunt and sterile, through her scant, 
tattered vesture of soil. Meagre harvests of barley, 
fig, and olive were wrested from her novercal breast 
— the local plough in use, a prehistoric, unshod 

P 195 

T'he Book of Italy 

wooden implement drawn by one or two cows, 
which could be hired, cows and all, for i^. 3^. a day, 
or 25. 6rf. at seed-time. Owing to devastating attacks 
of the musca olearia on the olive crop, wages were 
as low as M, a day for men ; ^d, for women. 

A primitive folk they ! Did the family need 
new boots or shoes ? The shoemaker would instal 
himself in your house, and for a wage of lod. a day 
work up your own material. In the village of 

C the only baker's oven was the property of 

the parish priest. Every two or three months the 
peasant would prepare for a grand baking ; he 
would bring his loaves of barley meal and some 
fuel, paying for the use of the oven in kind by leaving 
a quota of the batch. Let a word be here said 
for the parish priest of the south as the writer 
knew him. Passing rich on £"^2 a year, he usually 
contrived to house and feed a poor relation — a grand- 
parent, a nephew, a niece — and yet have to spare for 
outside charity. Truly a padre to his flock, he was 
welcomed in every home ; children kissed his hand, 
and their elders asked his blessing. In education 
far below the standard of the parroco of the more 
prosperous north, he was frequently the only 
educated man in his parish. In every crisis of a 
villager's life ; in contests with the hydra-headed 
local bureaucracy or the fisc, a marriage, a death 
(and succession duty is payable in Italy on inherit- 
ances as low as ^\ sterling), he would be packed oflP 
on a donkey to the nearest town to see the business 
through. Often drawn from the peasant class, he 
retains the peasant's passion for land. One such 
I well remember, who, after showing me with pride 

^ Fine Italian Gentleman 

his well-cultivated orchard, asked, *' What did we 
grow in England? Olives?" "No." "Oranges?" 
"No." "Lemons?" "No." " Nespoli?'' "No." 
"Grapes?" "No; not out of doors." "What 
did we grow ? " " Well, cherries, apples, pears, 
plums." Then, with a look of pitying scorn, he 
exclaimed, " Ma che ! Poveropaese ! Poveropaese ! " 

Equally admirable too the devotion of the village 

schoolmaster. At S , teaching classes in three 

standards in one poor, bare room, I found a heroic 
pedagogue with a similar stipend of ^32 a year 
valiantly educating the few children whose parents 
could afford to forego the two or three soldi they 
might otherwise earn in the fields, and generously 
giving his evenings to offer the elements of a higher 
education to the still fewer lads who were able to 
attend. The education of the village girls was 
entrusted to sisters of the Order of St. Vincent and 
St. Paul — gentle, devoted creatures — they too, full of 
enthusiasm. The children, sweet, dark-eyed things 
sang in full, rich voices, time being set by castanets. 

Under such conditions, then, lived Barone 

di C , a cultured aristocrat of high lineage bearing 

a name famous in Italian annals, a fine example of 
the southern gentleman of the old school. Like so 
many absentee Baroni of the south, he might have 
existed in self-indulgent ease at Naples or Rome. 
But noblesse oblige. Choosing rather a life of service, 
he devoted his rare intelligence, his artistic sym- 
pathies, his frugal means — for the Baroni of the 
south are but poor compared with the English 
gentry — to the material elevation of his people, 
achieving a great work in a narrow sphere. Pos- 


I'he Book of Italy 

sessing a lofty ideal of the functions of a landed 
aristocracy, he sought by careful experiment and 
personal example to improve agricultural methods. 
After thirty years of indefatigable efforts and dis- 
appointments, he succeeded in wresting the con- 
cession from Rome of a local railway, whose inaugura- 
tion he was not permitted to see. The Barone di 

C is said by the author of his funeral oration to 

have been the last of that company of gentiluotnini 
umanisti that so long honoured the Terra d'Otranto. 
Certainly no other Italian correspondent of the 
present writer possessed in equal degree the lost 
art of letter-writing. His epistles were written in a 
precise, neat, and comely script which gave expres- 
sion to a mind rich in knowledge and steeped in 
the writings of the great stylists of the past. 

But what most impressed the present writer, 
and became a revelation to him, was the native 
dignity and absence of servility among the common 
people, and the intellectual atmosphere he breathed 
m this far-away corner of Southern Italy. How 
different the standard from our own gross concep- 
tion of entertainment, where eating and drinking 
form the inevitable concomitants of social inter- 
course ! After the frugal evening meal, open house 
was kept for any neighbour who cared to drop in 

for a chat — ^the schoolmaster; Monsignor B , 

my host's brother, a tall, ascetic figure of the Manning 
type ; a local officer, or other literate acquaintance. 
During the writer's brief stay, conversation ran on 
Darwinism, on Cardinal Newman and the Tracta- 
rian movement — for Monsignor had translated the 
Dream of Gerontius — local antiquities ; agricultural 

<A Fine Italian Gentleman 

methods and markets ; the talk always maintained 
with easy good-fellowship. No refreshment other 
than mental was offered or expected ; no trace of 
social inequality apparent. This admirable note of 
intellectuality has recently been emphasized by an 
author who has a wide range of knowledge of South 
Itahan life. Referring to this old province of the 
peninsula, Mr. Norman Douglas remarks : ^ " The 
number of monographs dealing with every one of 
these little Italian towns is a ceaseless source of 
surprise. Look below the surface, and you will 
find in all of them an undercurrent of keen spiri- 
tuality, a nucleus of half a dozen widely-read and 
thoughtful men who foster the best traditions of 
the mind. You will not find them at the Town 
Council or the Cafje. No newspapers command their 
labours ; no millionaires or learned societies come 
to their assistance ; and though typography is cheap, 
they often stint themselves of the necessaries of life 
in order to produce those treatises of calm research.*' 
Thus has it availed amid the thunders of a world 
at war to catch the whisperings of a still small voice 
recalling a life of faithful service, of duties nearest 
at hand nobly performed ? These are they who 
turn aside from the strident ambitions, the petty 
personalities, the bitterness of political factions. 
They are not heard of abroad ; they are not re- 
ceived at courts ; no honours decorate their breasts. 
But they are the salt that keeps a nation sweet ; 
the wholesome, purifying life-blood of a great 
people. Happy the land that nurtures them I 

1 Old Calabria. 

Thomas Okby. 


'* Alla gentile Miss Cobden. G. Garibaldi " stands 
at the foot of a photograph which is one of my most 
cherished possessions. The photograph represents 
Garibaldi seated ; around his shoulders is wrapped 
an Algerian burnous, and on his head is a smoking 
cap. With this photograph before me I recall very 
vividly to my memory the visit to him in 1875 in 
the modest apartment of his son in Rome. 

Garibaldi had been the hero of my youthful 
days. In my childhood I had the privilege of 
seeing a lock of his hair sent by him to my sister 
Kate, in reply to her ardent appeal to Garibaldi 
himself ! and over my desk in our Sussex school- 
room had hung a coloured print of the hero of the 
Resurrection of Italy, standing with drawn sword 
on a hilltop — ^ silhouette against a bright blue 
Italian sky — Pleading the Thousand to victory. 

In 1875 I was in Rome for the first time, and 
one day without warning, and without preparation, 
the gates of our hotel — Hotel Costanzi — ^were flung 
wide open, and into the courtyard dashed an open 
carriage drawn by two horses, and within it sat 
General Garibaldi. He had, I think, come un- 
expectedly to Rome on a visit to his son, Menotti, 
his first visit, I believe, to Rome as the capital of 
United Italy. Though his visit was unheralded, the 
crowd about his carriage, as he drove from the 



^S' ^W 

y ( ■ •) 

~-Ai^ SfT?*. 

•^)§P«li j 1^ 

•\ i 



c// F'isit to Garibaldi 

station, was so great that it was found necessary to 
take refuge within the gates of the Costanzi Hotel. 
And from the carriage Garibaldi was carried to a 
balcony from where he spoke to the people gathered 
in multitudes below. He spoke, I remember, of 
Freedom, and of their beloved Italy, and the streets 
echoed with their vivas I At the hotel was my 
father's old friend, T. B. Potter, M.P. for Rochdale, 
whose enthusiasm for Garibaldi was so great that 
in 1864 he brought to Caprera from England a 
yacht as a gift to the General, and by him I was 
taken, with his son Richard, to visit Garibaldi. 

We drove to a modest house in a quiet street 
in Rome, and we climbed the three flights of stairs 
to his son's apartment. There in a small room, 
seated beside a desk, surrounded by his wife and 
two young children, sat General Garibaldi — ^in all 
the simplicity of greatness. 

We were not fluent in Italian, and I believe 
Garibaldi knew little French, but in parting I tried 
to express to him my feeling that both he and my 
father had been fellow-workers in the great and 
sublime cause of Liberty. Then, as we left, with 
fingers stiff and knotted with rheumatism — as those 
of our Sussex labourers — he wrote beneath his 
photograph : 

" Alia gentile Miss Cobden. G. Garibaldi." 

And now to-day the soldiers of the Alpini tell 
us the spirit of Garibaldi is there with them among 
the snow-clad mountains, and he will, they say, 
surely lead them to victory. 

Jane Cobden Unwin. 



In the present European conflict the problem of the 
industrial organisation for war is the one which is en- 
gaging public attention to an unprecedented degree. 
By many it is regarded as an altogether new develop- 
ment, arising out of modern and more scientific 
conditions of warfare ; but, though these may have 
accentuated its importance, the efficiency of the 
industrial organisation has always, since mankind 
has emerged from barbarism, been a main element 
in securing victory. The workshop has always been 
of first importance in the successful conduct of 
war, and it is only the fact that it does not lend 
itself to picturesque literary treatment that has 
prevented the historians of the old school from giving 
proper attention to it. They have found it easier 
to interest their readers in the brave deeds of warriors, 
and in the character and cunning of their leaders, 
than in the more commonplace labour of the artificers 
who wrought the weapons by which victory was 

One of the chapters of history in which the 
importance of the industrial organisation for war 
can best be studied is that of the maritime supremacy 
of Venice, which persisted for nearly eight centuries, 
in spite of the fact that many of the wars which it 

Lessons from the Venetian Arsenal 

waged were most disastrous. Rarely have there been 
more disastrous naval defeats than that in 1298 
at Curzola, or than that in 1354 at Sapienza, where 
every vessel of the Venetian fleet was captured. 
But in spite of these, and many other severe defeats, 
Venice always managed, within a comparatively 
short time, to recover completely the command 
of the sea, which was of vital necessity to her exist- 
ence. This power of recuperation cannot be ex- 
plained by superior strategy or seamanship. The 
Venetian system, which aimed at keeping down 
the really strong man, was not specially favourable 
to the production of genius, and, in their long his- 
tory, the Venetian fleets had, as might well be 
supposed, their ordinary share of efficient and 
inefficient commanders. The seamanship was good, 
but it would be hazardous to say that it was superior 
to that of some of the rivals, notably the Genoese. 
Nor can the power of recuperation be ascribed to 
advantages given by nature. On the contrary, in 
the essential materials for naval construction, 
timber, iron, and hemp, Venice was at a disadvantage 
when compared not only with the Byzantine and 
Turkish empires, with their endless resources, but 
also with the Italian rivals of Amalfi, Pisa, and Genoa. 
These coast towns possessed considerable mainland 
territories, containing good local supplies of timber, 
whereas Venice was separated from the mainland, 
and in the first five centuries of its history acquired 
thereon no permanent foothold. It had to obtain all 
its supplies by sea, and these supplies were often 
liable to interruption, in the earlier centuries, by the 
Dalmatian pirates, who found shelter in the number- 


"The Book of Italy 

less islands of their coast, and in later periods on 
those occasions when, after naval defeats such as 
those we have mentioned, Venice lost temporarily 
the command of the sea. 

The persistence of the maritime supremacy of 
Venice can only be ascribed to the superior efficiency 
of its industrial organisation for war, which was 
specially fostered by legislation subordinating the 
private to the public interests of the community. 
It is difficult in a short paper to describe adequately 
an organisation which underwent many changes in 
the long history of the Republic, but taking the 
early part of the fifteenth century as that when 
Venice was most powerful, we find it, at that epoch, 
laid down by law that all ships, whether belonging 
to the State or to private owners, had in their con- 
struction to comply strictly to standard measure- 
ments. Practically all ships were state-owned, as, 
though private owners were tolerated as long as 
they complied with the Government regulations, 
they were not encouraged. AH ships were required 
to be not merely uniform in measurements and 
type, but absolutely identical in all particulars. At 
some periods of Venetian history a choice was 
allowed between two or three approved types, but 
in the period we are discussing, only one type, which 
was found most suitable for both commercial and 
fighting purposes, was permitted. Several advan- 
tages resulted from this complete uniformity in 
construction. The first was the complete converti- 
bility of her mercantile marine and navy, which 
enabled the fighting forces of the Republic to be 
rapidly expanded in case of emergency. Economi- 

Lessons from the Venetian Arsenal 

cally this was quite sound. The Venetian mer- 
chantmen did the carrying trade of Europe, and on 
the outbreak of war their occupation was gone. It 
was obviously a well-thought-out system which at 
once converted them into men-of-war, instead of 
keeping them idle in port. At the first moment of 
peace the State let out the ships to the highest 
bidder at auction, so that they could at once resume 
their mercantile functions. The uniformity of con- 
struction had also a distinct tactical advantage, 
inasmuch as ships of identical burden and rig 
would all behave similarly in varying conditions of 
weather, and the squadrons could be relied on to 
keep together. This was equally important in peace 
time, as the sea was never free from pirates, and the 
merchantmen had to sail in fleets under convoy. 
The standardisation of all parts of a ship enabled it 
to be constructed or put together with great rapidity 
and accuracy. It is recorded that in two hours, 
while Henry the Third of France was dining in the 
great hall of the Arsenal, a galley, of which the 
keel and ribs alone were in position, was entirely 
completed, equipped, and launched in his presence. 
This was an exceptional feat, and the galley was no 
doubt intended only for the calm waters of the 
lagoons, but it is a historical fact that, in the hun- 
dred days before the battle of Lepanto, a galley left 
the Arsenal each day ready for battle. A similar 
advantage was gained in refitting and repairing 
vessels, the Venetian consuls in the various ports 
being provided from the Arsenal of Venice with a 
supply of standard masts, rudders, shrouds, and other 
fittings, which enabled them to meet all demands 


T'he Book of Italy 

promptly and accurately. The most important re- 
sult of this standardisation of all parts of which a 
galley was composed was that specialised training 
could be given in the manufacture of each part, 
leading to that minute subdivision of labour which 
is the first necessity of intensive industry. In the 
Middle Ages the Arsenal of Venice was famed 
throughout the world as the most perfect beehive 
of industry known in those days, and was visited 
by monarchs and other distinguished travellers. 
All parts of a vessel, the masts and yards, the 
anchors, screws, locks, keys, and rivets, as well as 
sails and ropes, were made there from start to finish. 
The Arsenal never employed less than ten thousand, 
and at times as many as sixteen thousand workmen, 
figures which, in those days, could not be equalled 
elsewhere. It was not merely a dockyard for naval 
construction, but the centre of the whole industrial 
organisation for war, and was so organised as to 
be able to supply at all times all naval wants without 
recourse to the assistance of any other institution, 
Venetian or foreign. The duties of the adminis- 
trators, the provveditori alV Arsenate , included 
everything appertaining to naval construction, the 
training of seamen, the supervision of the work- 
men, armament, the purchase of materials, pro- 
visions, contracts, and storekeeping. Later on a 
special department supervised the artillery, and a 
permanent committee was created for testing and 
examining inventions submitted to them by Vene- 
tians and foreigners. It is on record that among 
those who sent in models was Leonardo da Vinci. 

The most interesting department was that of the 

Lessons from the Venetian Jtrsenal 

provision and storekeeping of timber and hemp. 
As we have stated, the RepubUc started at an obvious 
initial disadvantage in having no local supplies of 
timber, but, in the course of time, the necessity to 
have recourse to foreign supplies was turned into a 
real gain, inasmuch as it gave a much wider power 
of selection, and enabled qualities of timber to 
be obtained continuously which were far superior 
to what any locally restricted supply could have 
given. Timber was brought to the Arsenal from 
Istria, Dalmatia, Albania, and even from Germany, 
and on its receipt was at once cut into solid beams, 
measured, stamped with the Winged Lion as State 
property, and then immersed in a deep sea-water 
basin near the Lido, where it was kept soaking for 
ten years, by which time it became impervious to 
warping influences. If not immediately required, it 
was then stored in immense warehouses, which still 
exist, and the State held thus ready for use for all 
emergencies a larger supply of seasoned timber of 
high quality than was at the command of any of its 

In the earlier days of the Republic hemp was 
imported from the East, but later on it was success- 
fully grown on the territories acquired on the main- 
land, especially in what is now the province of 
Padua. To secure an ample supply, the State not 
only imported large quantities on its own account, 
but opened at the Arsenal warehouses where private 
individuals could store hemp of a certain grade 
without charge, the only consideration being the 
right of the State to pre-emption in the case of 
national emergency. 


The Book of Italy 

We find, as a consequence of these well-thought- 
out methods, the curious result that, though Venice 
started with disadvantages in obtaining supplies of 
timber and hemp, it was to her superiority in these 
materials that her rivals ascribed her supremacy 
at sea. According to a Spanish author of the early 
seventeenth century, the cordage of Venice had a 
life half as long again as that of Spain, and this was 
not due so much to superiority in grade as to 
improved methods of preparation and spinning. 

We see that even in the Middle Ages the work- 
shop was of primary importance in the conduct 
of war, and the industrial organisation of the Vene- 
tian Republic deserves careful study. All systems 
have their defects, and in the writer's opinion the 
rigid stereotyping of the shape and measurement of 
ships made it difficult for Venice to adapt itself to 
the gradual improvement in naval construction 
which took place after the discovery of the New 
World. Not that Venice was backward in invent- 
ing new types, but the change involved in the sub- 
stitution of new and continually altering types was 
unsuitable to the system in force, and the complaint 
of the inferiority of Venetian ships is a common 
one in the history of the decadence of the Republic. 

Albert Ball. 


We ^~ > .X onsequence of these v 
out in , the curious result that, thou^^ 

started with disadvantages in obtaining suppli^ 
tiiriber and hemp, it was to her superiority in thene 
materials that her rivals ascribed her supremacy 
at sea. According to a Spanish author of the early 
seventeenth century, the cordage of Venice had a 
life half as long again as that of Spain, and this was 
not due so much to superiority ix\ grade as to 
improved methods of preparation and spinning. 

We see that even in the Middle Ages the work- 
shop was of primary importance in the conduct 
of war, and the industrial organisation of the Vene- 
tian Republic deserves careful study. Ail s 
have their defects, and in the writer's opin.. . -.a^ 
rigid stereotyping of the shape and measurement of 
ships ml<!^^FHigiMy TOIfce^W.'^f<!apt itself to 
the gradual ijf&pTfoveffiS5fit ^iil naval c n 
which took place after the discovery o\ ujc i\cvv 
World. Not that Venice was backward in invent- 
ing new types, but the change involved in the sub- 
stitution of new and continually altering types was 
unsuitable to the system in force, and the complaint 
of the inferiority of Venetian ships is a common 
one in the history of the decadence of the Republic. 




Historical parallels, though interesting and curious, 
cannot safely be pressed too closely in the hope of 
acquiring rules and lessons for future guidance. 
History does not repeat itself, as the experiment 
can be repeated in the laboratory to demonstrate a 
conclusion. And yet no one can fail to be struck 
by certain resemblances, not merely between his- 
torical personages, but also between crises in national 

The Italian peninsula, one of the centres in 
Europe where the human spirit has shown itself 
most fully and most frequently in process of develop- 
ment, is peculiarly rich in such analogies. Roughly 
speaking, from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, 
Italy, with her numerous independent States, was 
the focus and field of European diplomacy, owing, 
first of all, to the wealth, widespread commerce, and 
rivalry of her component parts, which made the 
possession of Milan or the fate of Florence a matter 
of universal European importance, and, secondly, 
at a later period, to the fact that her plains and 
cities became the battle-field of wider interests, 
which developed with the growth of European 
States after the close of the Quattrocento. 

During the earlier period of internal struggle 


T'he Book of Italy 

and rivalry between the various States, it is natural 
that we should find, in miniature, a series of situa- 
tions which in many ways resemble situations that 
were subsequently developed on the wider field 
of European politics ; and not merely situations, 
but also principles and doctrines of Statecraft, be- 
gotten and exemplified in the microcosm of Italian 
politics. The fundamental principles of the balance 
of power were worked out in the insistent tendency 
towards antagonistic alliances based on and governed 
by geographical and commercial conditions. The 
doctrine of buffer- States, and the inherent dangers 
to which they were exposed, was illustrated in the 
long struggle between Venice, the Scaligeri, the 
Carraresi of Padua, and the Visconti of Milan ; 
even the modern theory of " sea-power " seems to 
have been divined and implicitly laid down in 
Paolo Sarpi's maxim, " Chi puo venire per mare 
non e lontano " (whoever can reach you by sea is 
not really far away). 

Among the many historical parallels furnished by 
the microcosm of mediaeval and Renaissance Italy, 
the rivalry between Genoa and Venice in the 
fourteenth century bears a striking resemblance to the 
situation between two of the great powers engaged 
in the war now raging. The rival republics chal- 
lenged each other for supremacy in the field of 
Eastern trade comprised within the basin of the 
Black Sea, much as Germany and Britain are now 
at grips largely, if not chiefly, for dominating in- 
fluence in Asia Minor. The possession of Tenedos 
in the one case, and of the Tigris and Euphrates 
delta in the other, was the key to the situation. The 


<^n Historical Parallel 

decision was sought in fields far removed from the 
bone of contention. The struggle was for very life. 
In the earlier example it was dragged on through a 
series of campaigns ending in the overthrow of 
Genoa, when the war of Chioggia closed trium- 
phantly for Venice in 1380. 

The history of this struggle is rendered pecu- 
liarly interesting for us, because about the middle 
of its long-drawn course it came under the obser- 
vation and criticism of that great humanist, that 
man of wide worldly-wisdom and sympathy com- 
bined with supreme literary accomplishment, Fran- 
cesco Petrarch, poet and diplomat, who in his 
letters to the Venetian Doge, Andrea Dandolo, 
soldier and chronicler of his native city, sums up 
with impartial perspicuity the probable issue of the 
struggle between two such distinguished members 
of the Italian group of States. 

Petrarch opens an impassioned appeal for peace 
by stating that Venice and Genoa seemed to have 
been so placed by Nature as to render a clash unlikely 
and unnecessary. Genoa looked west to the Tyr- 
rhenian Sea, Venice east, down the waterway of the 
Adriatic to the Levant ; why not divide and rule ? 
But the fair dream of the poet-diplomat was shattered 
by the facts. The East was the source of wealth ; 
both powers desired supremacy there. And so it 
come about that *' latens bellum nunquam non 
defuit '' ; for years a suppressed or latent warfare, 
really a war of the pocket, the " war before the war," 
as it has been called in the present case, had been 
waged between the rival States, preluding an inevit- 
able rupture into patent and actual war. ** And 

T'he Book of Italy 

now," says Petrarch, " these two powerful peoples, 
these two flourishing States, these two eyes, as it 
were, of Italy, have flown to] arms, and certain it is 
that Italy must perish if you thus turn your con- 
quering swords against each other's breast. The foes 
of Italy will rejoice over our self-sought calamities, 
though they will have no just cause for pluming 
themselves on their gains. The overweening, head- 
strong counsels of youth, that it is which fills me 
with profoundest alarm. And what must be the 
end of this war, whether you win or lose ? Only 
this, that of the two eyes of Italy one must be 
dimmed, the other put out. (Necesse est ut unum 
e duobus Italiae luminibus extinguatur, obscuretur 
alterum.) Between such foes what hope of aught 
but a blood-draining victory 1 And is all our 
wealth and all our garnering to pass into the hands 
of others 1 Remember that war cannot be kept 
within bounds at our pleasure ; it is a contagious 
disease that easily infects its neighbourhood. (Suis in 
finibus non stat bellum, nempe contagiosa res est 
et quae facile serpat in proximos.) What I say to 
one of you I say to both." 

So Petrarch — '* pareva sognatore e fu prof eta " 
— in words of wisdom and prophecy, which fell 
on deaf ears. The Doge replied in terms of 
the soldier and the statesman. With a compliment 
he brushes aside the appeal of abstract wisdom. 
" Such a noble effusion could only have sprung from 
a pure and noble heart. Your praise of peace is 
beyond praise ; nevertheless, the prosecution of a 
just war such as ours is argument for comfort, not 
for blame. Is patience under injuries a virtue ? 


jtn Historical Parallel 

We have always been taught that laws human and 
divine forbid us to let the wicked live or to allow 
perfidy to go unpunished. The iniquities of Genoa 
drove us, unwilling and reluctant, into war, as all 
the world well knows. And now our foes have 
rendered the sea dangerous for themselves, the 
whole world hostile, and every single State their 
foe. (Mare sibi reddiderunt infestum, terrarum 
orbem exosum et inimicas singulas nationes.)" 
Could words more truly describe the present situa- 
tion ? 

Horatio F. Brown. 



Several of Leonardo da Vinci's biographers refer 
to the personal relations of the artist with Cesare 
Borgia, generally called II Valentino, in the years 
1 501-2, and do not refrain from assigning special 
importance to that intercourse which according to 
them lasted some time. But even if there is little 
occasion to wonder, allowing for the conditions of the 
times, that Leonardo should have met II Valentino 
in his peregrinations through Italy after the down- 
fall of Ludovico il Moro, this fact does not lessen 
our aversion to the idea that Leonardo should have 
been for long in the service of the man who was 
the personification of guile, violence, and murder. 
It may be, therefore, worth our while to restore 
this episode in the lives of Leonardo and Borgia 
to its due proportions. 

It is quite conceivable that II Valentino, on the 
point of consolidating the Duchy of Romagna, the 
possession of which he owed to his audacity and 
treachery, should in the year 1502 have turned his 
eyes to Leonardo. Twenty years before that date 
the artist had already offered his services to the 
Duke of Milan, asserting his experience in military 
science with words which might be deemed pre- 
suming, were they not justified by hundreds 
of drawings and sketches contained in the 
Codici Vinciani, and bearing upon the art of war. 

jp » 




A. N. Prentice. F.R.I.B.A. 

Leonardo da Vinci and Cesare Borgia 

Indeed, Leonardo studied not only the arms of 
antiquity described by Volturio and those of the 
Middle Ages, which he improved and brought to 
perfection, but, being faced by the quite recent 
and radical innovation caused by fire-arms, he 
made notes of his inventions and improvements, 
both for offence and defence, which anticipated 
the advance in military science for some centuries to 
come. In the days when II Valentino had cast his 
eyes on Leonardo, the latter had studied a scheme 
to stem the newly threatened Turkish invasion 
across the Isonzo ; and at the same time, with a 
view of fighting the Mussulman fleet which con- 
stituted a danger to the Gulf of Venice, he con- 
ceived and planned submarine boats to sink the 
Turkish galleys. For the Turks, emboldened by 
their victory of the Zonchio, had dared to raid the 
country west of the Isonzo, and after having burnt 
132 villages and towns, invaded Friuli and even 
threatened Vicenza. 

It was the boast of Venice that she could resist 
against her enemies by sea and by land for ten 
years with a monthly expenditure of 300,000 
ducats. Leonardo betook himself to the imperilled 
frontier, and speedily laid down a vast defensive 
plan, based on the principle of obstructing the 
massed advance of the Turks by establishing a 
movable dam across the river, and thus flooding 
the plains along the Isonzo ; for '* per qualunque 
parte di terrajerma vi passino i turchi alle parti di 
la Italiay al fine conviene capitino al detto fiume,^^ ^ 

^ " By whatsoever way the Turks should choose to come to Italy over 
land, they must in the end reach the said river.'* 


I'he Book of Italy 

In the midst of the panic that had beset the 
population, Leonardo embarked on another enter- 
prise : that of planning and constructing a device 
in order to approach the Turkish galleys under 
water, " per romper e i navili in fondo e sommergerli 
con It omini che vi son dentro.^^ ^ He first plans an 
apparatus by means of which it should be possible 
to sink under water, leaving above the surface only 
" la bocca della canna onde alitare,^^ * He then 
contemplates to free the apparatus from this only 
connection with the air, making it quite independent 
for a length of time of at least four hours, indeed 
as long as a man could remain in it without food. 
Together with the technical notes of this apparatus, 
studied in its minutest details,* are intermingled 
not only cautions for the strictest secrecy to be 
observed during its construction, but even the 
transactions to ensure due compensation for the 
enterprise " senza alcuna eccezione^ * 

We may discern a consideration of an elevated 
moral character, truly worthy of that powerful 
mind, in the very determination of secrecy, not 
limited only to an obvious reason of tactics against 
the enemy, but inspired by a feeling of humanity. 
Indeed, Leonardo studies with the hope of being 
able " to smash the ships in the keel and sink them 
with the men that are inside " because it is neces- 
sary for the defence *' delle nostre parti italiche'' ^ 

^ *' To smash the ships in the keel and sink them with the men that 
are inside." 

* " The mouth of the pipe to breathe through." 

* See Codex Atlanticus, fol. 7, 237, 333, 346, 377; Leicester MS., fol. 
22; British Museum MS., fol. 81. 

* " Without any saving clauses." 
^ " Of our Italian lands." 


Leonardo da Vinci and Cesare Borgia 

for the ultimate fate of Venice ; but at the same 
time he remarks : '' II mio modo di star sotto Vacquay 
quanto to posso star senza mangiare, questo non 
pubblico e dtvolgo, per le male nature delli ominty It 
quali userebbero It assassinamenti ne^ fondi dei mariy ^ 

Does it not seem as if we were reading a lesson 
of morality addressed to the barbarity of the pre- 
sent day which so cynically exceeds the harsh 
necessities of warfare ? 

It was after he had completed these studies that 
Leonardo da Vinci in the latter half of the year 
1502 made a journey to Romagna along the Adriatic 
coast. Brief entries in Codex L at the Institut 
de France enable us to follow his itinerary. On 
July 30th Leonardo was at Urbino, and two days 
later at Pesaro ; on August 8th at Rimini. At 
Cesena he stopped from the loth to the 15th of 
that month ; at the beginning of September he was 
at Porto Cesenatico. The small Codex in which 
Leonardo entered his various notes does not 
contain any further items concerning him per- 
sonally from September 1502 to March 1503, at 
which time the artist had returned to Florence to 
undertake the painting of The Battle of Anghiari 
for the Hall of the Grand Council. 

Father Guglielmo della Valle in the edition of 
Vasari's Vite^ published in Siena in 1793, produced 
an inedited document to prove that this journey of 
Leonardo to Romagna was in connection with a 
mission with which he had been entrusted by 

^ " My device to remain under water as long as I can without food, I 
do not publish nor divulge, because of the evil nature of men, who would 
make use of it to commit murder at the bottom of the seas." 


"The Book of Italy 

Duke Valentino to inspect the fortresses of the 
latter 's dominions. The document in question was 
a Letter Patent by which Cesare Borgia conferred 
on Leonardo, in his capacity of General Engineer, 
the most unlimited powers for the fulfilment of his 
task. Father della Valle published this important 
document on the strength of a copy taken at the 
instigation of the Secretary to the Government of 
Maria Theresa, De Pagave, by the notary Consonni 
from the original vellum then preserved in the 
Melzi Archives at Milan. Other students of Leo- 
nardo recopied that Letter Patent, but Giuseppe 
Bossi, in the year 1810, in his work on Leonardo's 
Cenacolo had already announced that the original 
vellum " had been lost in quite recent times." 

For more than a hundred years the numerous 
researches of students were fruitless. Gustavo 
Uzielli (f 191 1), who ardently devoted himself to 
the study of Leonardo, and brought to light a large 
quantity of inedited documents now preserved in 
the Raccolta Vinciana in the Castello Sforzesco, 
could not account for the disappearance of the 
precious vellum so soon after its importance for 
Vincian studies had been made known. 

It will therefore afford special satisfaction to 
hear that the original document, after more than 
a hundred years, has been found. The fact that 
Father della Valle's copy had come to him from De 
Pagave, to whom are due several papers on art 
concerning Lombardy, which still lie unpublished 
in the Archives of the Counts Melzi, fostered the 
belief that the original of the Letter Patent was 
preserved in those Archives. It is instead in the 

Leonardo da Vinci and Cesare Borgia 

Archives of the Ducal House of Melzi in Milan 
that the document has been quite recently redis- 
covered among other papers and vellums on different 
subjects and of secondary importance. I owe to 
the gracious concession of Her Excellency the 
Duchess Josephine Melzi d'Eril Barbo the possi- 
bility of presenting here a photographic reproduc- 
tion of the Letter Patent, not only for the benefit 
of Vincian studies, but also as a contribution in 
keeping with the noble aims of this book. 

The name of Melzi enables us to establish how 
this vellum came to us. In fact, it was young 
Francesco G. Melzi who from Amboise, on June i, 
15 19, announced to the Vinci family the death of 
Leonardo ; he had accompanied the old artist in 
his voluntary exile to France, and had assisted him 
up to his last moments. The circumstance that 
Leonardo appointed him his heir explains how it 
was that Melzi brought back to Lombardy with 
Vinci's manuscripts the vellum of II Valentino. 

The Letter Patent runs thus : Ccesar Borgia 
de Francia Dei Gratia Dux Romandiole Valentieque, 
Princeps Hadrie, Dominus Plumbini etc. Ac Sancte 
Romane Ecclesie Confalonerius et Capitaneus Gene- 
ralis. Ad Tutti nostri Locotenentiy Castellaniy Capi- 
tanijy Conducteriy Officially Soldati et Subditi ; A 
li quali de questa peruerra notitia ; Commettemo et 
Commandamo che al nostro Prestantissimo et Dilec- 
tissimo Familiare Architecto et Ingengero Generate 
Leonardo Vinci dessa ostensore ; el quale de nostra 
Commissione ha da considerare li Lochi et Forteze 
de li Stati nostri ; Ad do che secundo la loro exi- 
gentia et suo iudicio possiamo prouederli Debiano 


"The Book of Italy 

dare per tutto passo libera da qualunque publico 
pagamento per se, et li soi Amichevole recepto et 
lassarli uedere^ mesurare^ et bene extimare quanto 
uorra ; Et ad questo effecto^ Commandare homini 
ad sua requisitione, et prestarli qualunquc adiuto 
adsistentia, et Fauore recercara, Volendo che dello- 
pere da farse neli nostri Domini] QualunquQ Ingen- 
gero sia astrecto conferire con luiy et con el parere 
suo conformarse ; Ne de questo presuma alcuno fare 
lo contrario per quanto li sia charo non incorrere in la 
nostra Indignatione,^ Datum Papie die Decimo octavo 
Augustiy Anno Domini Millesimo Quingentesimo 
Secundo Ducatus Vero Nostri Romandiole Secundo, 

Mandatus III""' Domini Ducis 


Beraldinus. F. Martius. 

The vellum, folded as a letter, bears the seal of 
the Duke on the written side and the papal seal of 
Alessandro Borgia on the back. 

We shall now briefly relate the circumstances 
in which the mission was given to Leonardo by 

^ "To all our Lieutenants, Castellains, Captains, Condottieri, Officers, 
Soldiers and Subjects, to whom these presents may be known, we commit 
and command that to our Most Excellent and Most Beloved Private Archi- 
tect and General Engineer Leonardo Vinci, bearer of the same, and who has 
our Commission to survey the holds and fortresses of our States, in order 
that according to their exigencies and his judgment we may equip them, they 
are to give free pass, exempt from all public toll to himself and his company, 
and friendly reception ; and to allow him to see, measure and estimate all 
he may wish. And to this effect they shall order men on his requisition 
and lend him all the help, assistance and favours he may request, it being our 
wish that for all works to be done in our Dominions any engineer be compelled 
to consult him and to conform to his opinion ; and to this may none presume 
to act in opposition, if it be his pleasure not to incur our indignation." 



Leonardo da Vinci and Cesare Borgia 

The power of Cesare Borgia had suddenly 
asserted itself in the latter years of the fifteenth 
century, owing its origin both to the protection of 
Pope Alessandro Borgia and to his marriage with 
the sister of the King of Navarre. Placed thus in 
condition to satisfy his unbounded personal ambi- 
tion, and at the same time to be of service to the 
French cause in Italy, II Valentino had succeeded 
through violence, intrigue, and treachery in securing 
for himself the Duchy of Romagna, not meeting 
with any resistance except from Caterina Sforza. 
This woman manfully sustained the siege of the 
Citadel of Forli, and only surrendered when reduced 
to the last extremity, thus becoming the heroine of 
the sole glorious military episode that redeemed 
the close of the fifteenth century. II Valentino also 
consolidated his power by forcing upon the House 
of Este the marriage of his sister Lucrezia Borgia 
to Alfonso, eldest son of the Duke of Ferrara. 
Furthermore, when Louis XII in the summer of 
1502 again crossed the Alps and entered Milan 
on the 28th of June, II Valentino seized the oppor- 
tunity to strengthen his position against the recri- 
minations of his principal victims, the Duke of 
Urbino and Giovanni Sforza. The King of France 
greeted and entertained II Valentino with marked 
familiarity in the Castello Sforzesco, as we gather 
from a confidential letter dated August 8, 1502, 
from Niccolo da Correggio to Isabella d'Este : 
" Sabato sera giunse qiit il Duca Valentino, venuto 
per staffetta ; la elf'' Maesih lo accolse et abbraccib 
con molta alegreza et lo menb in Castello , dove lo 
fece allogiare ne la camera piic propinqua a la sua, 


I'he Book of Italy 

et lui stesso sollecitb la cena et ordinb diverse vivande, 
et per quella sera per tre o quatro volte li andb alia 
camera fin in camisa, quando doveva entrare in lecto. 
Et ha voluto che el vestisse de le camise^ zupponi 
et habiti suoi, perche il Duca Valentino non ha 
carraggi come de cavalcature. In summa piii non 
si potria fare a fioloy ne a fratello.'' ^ 

All these special marks of deference prove the 
importance that Louis XII attached to the friend- 
ship of II Valentino, whom he considered a blind tool 
for his object of strengthening French rule, and as 
a sort of vedette placed between the Pope and the 
Venetian Republic. To consolidate by every pos- 
sible means Borgia's power with a view of getting 
rid of him at the right moment, was for the King 
of France the most elementary policy. Therefore 
II Valentino's resolve to order an inspection of the 
fortresses of his State as a preliminary measure for 
their defence was probably the immediate conse- 
quence of the meeting with the King of France at 
Milan. That meeting took place on the 6th of 
August, and on the i8th of the same month II 
Valentino, proceeding in the company of Louis XII, 
who was on his way to Genoa, forwarded from 
Pavia the Letter Patent to his General Engineer. 

In those days Leonardo was at Cesena, and the 

^ " Saturday evening the Duke Valentino arrived here, having come by 
estafette ; His gracious Majesty very cheerfully greeted and embraced him 
and conducted him to the Castle, where he gave him the room nearest to 
his own, he himself speeding supper and ordering several courses, and that 
evening three or four times he went to the room even in his nightshirt 
when he was going to bed. And he insisted on giving the Duke his own 
shirts and gowns and clothes to wear, tjie Duke Valentino not having as 
many waggons as he has horses. In one word, one could not do more for 
a son or a brother." 


Leonardo da Vinci and Cesare Borgia 

first entry that refers to his successive peregrinations 
is precisely the one concerning the Port of Cesenatico, 
dated September 6th, where II Valentino's decree of 
the 1 8th August probably reached him. Leonardo's 
notes on the Port of Cesenatico may consequently 
be in connection with his appointment. That Port 
had strategical importance for Cesare Borgia, as 
it had later when under Napoleonic rule it was 
bombarded by the British fleet, and again in 1849 
during the march of Garibaldi to help Venice out 
of her perilous plight. 

The fact of not finding other entries in Codex L 
which refer to II Valentino's commission justifies the 
doubt as to whether Leonardo actually fulfilled it. 
It may be presumed that in October of that same 
year Leonardo was at Imola, where II Valentino had 
at the time been obliged to barricade himself owing to 
a revolt of his troops. The interesting topographical 
sketch of the town drawn by Leonardo in his own 
hand — ^still extant — might lend a colour to that 
theory. But the lack of positive proofs compels us 
to conclude that Leonardo was not slow in breaking 
off all his engagements with the adventurer at the 
time when the latter was resuming his profligate 
vocation by crushing the insurrection of Urbino, 
sacking Sinigaglia, seizing Perugia, and besieging 
Siena. Before II Valentino's star was on the wane 
in consequence of the death of Pope Alexander VI, 
Leonardo was already in Florence deeply absorbed 
in his studies for the cartoon of The Battle of 

Thus the relations between II Valentino and Leo- 
nardo, the theme of elaborate variations by several 


^he Book of Italy 

writers tending to place the artist for two years at 
the unrestricted service of the man who has passed 
into history for his acts of violence and cruelty, 
fail to stand the test of facts. II Valentino's Letter 
Patent seems to be more than anything the out- 
come of his endeavour to secure prestige for him- 
self by making use of Leonardo's name. But as 
much as the artist rose in the public estimation not 
only for his incomparable talent but also for the 
rectitude of his life, so did the power and the 
reputation of Cesare Borgia decline : an instance of 
the frailty and inefficiency of all that is based on 
violence and on contempt of humanity, justice, and 
loftiness of purpose. 

The man who only a few months previously, 
on the completion of his studies for a submarine 
boat which was to perforate the keel of enemy 
ships, declared that he did not wish to publish the 
details of his invention lest it should be misused for 
foul deeds instead of being employed in the fair 
conduct of war, that man could certainly not be in 
the service of him who in January 1503, after provid- 
ing Paolo Orsini, Vitellozzo Gravina, and Oliverotto 
da Fermo with a safe-conduct to come and confer 
with him in Sinigaglia, embraced them at the gate of 
the town and received them in his house only to have 
them treacherously put in chains and beheaded. 

LucA Beltrami. 

Translated by ** Hardelot'' 

[The reproductions of Leonardo's sketches relating to the study of the 
flight of birds and of flying machines, from the Codex Atlanticus, appended 
to this article, have been kindly lent to us by Senatore Luca Beltrami. — 
The Editor.] 



') ■ •■■'.•'• s 

• -rS: 

W/ / 





From the "Codex Atlanticiis," Leonardo da Vinci 

1. Flying machine. 4. Details of the wing. 

2. Mechanism for the movement of 5. Movement of a wing. 

birds' wings. 6. Diagram of the track of a bird's 

3. Details of the wing. flight. 



It is familiar knowledge that Shakespeare hewed 
many of his plays out of Italian stories. The most 
superficial studies of his plots show him to be 
beyond doubt a close student of a very distinctive 
species of literature which is peculiarly characteristic 
of Renaissance Italy. Boccaccio, of Florence, the 
herald of the new Italian movement in many of 
its directions, may be reckoned to have rendered 
his most conspicuous service to the amenities of 
civilisation by his creation of the art of the short 
story. In musical language, which eliminated once 
and for all the crudities of the old Tuscan dialect, 
Boccaccio pictured, with a softly glowing serenity, 
experiences of love and life of which he had read 
or heard or seen. He treats human nature with a 
frankness which often shocks the prudish. He is 
prone to dwell with a cheerful irony on the infideli- 
ties of husbands and wives. Yet he is a master of 
pathos as well as of gaiety, and blends varied 
ingredients harmoniously. Boccaccio the novelist 
founded in Italy a long-lived school, and though 
none of his scholars equalled his own powers, many 
who were especially active in the sixteenth century 
caught some touch of his vivacity. Bandello, a 
Lombard, who was a bishop in the south of France 
at the time of Shakespeare's birth, turned into lively 


"The Book of Italy 

fiction of Boccaccio's type episodes in the social 
life of his day. Although he lacked his master's 
gift of style Bandello excelled Boccaccio in lubricity. 
Another sixteenth-century Italian novelist, Giraldi 
Cinthio, of the cultured city of Ferrara, also enjoyed 
a wide reputation in his day. In his methods, 
merits, and demerits he may be linked with Ban- 
dello. The Italian novel, indeed, engaged almost 
as much energy in Renaissance Italy as the drama 
subsequently engaged in Elizabethan or Jacobean 
England. It found readers, not in Italy alone, but, 
either in the original or in translation, in all countries 
of Western Europe. Imitations as well as trans- 
lations soon abounded in France, Spain, and ulti- 
mately in England. 

The Italian novel rendered the English drama 
the practical service of supplying it with a treasury 
of plots, and Shakespeare, like all the fellow-drama- 
tists of his time, welcomed with enthusiasm such 
practical help. Most, but not all, the Italian stories 
which he employed were ready to his hand in his 
own language or in French. His indebtedness to 
Italy is not, however, greatly reduced thereby. The 
English and French renderings at his command, 
though differing among themselves in efficiency, 
were usually literal. Their temper was little 
changed. In whatever shape Shakespeare gained 
access to them, the main stories of AlVs Well that 
Ends Well and Cymbeline, of which Helena and 
Imogen are the respective heroines, remain the ripe 
fruit of Boccaccio's invention. Bandello is the 
parent of the leading episodes of Romeo and Juliet 
and Much Ado about Nothing, Cinthio was the 

By am Shaw, A.R.W.S. 

Shakespeare and the Italian Novel 

first to tell the tragic adventure of Isabella in 
Measure jot Measure ^ and the tragic trials of Othello 
and Desdemona. Even where Shakespeare seeks 
his plots in romances of English authorship, as in 
As You Like It and The Winter^s Tale, the Italian 
influence is not wholly absent ; for the English 
novelists commonly marched along the Italian road ; 
they rarely travelled far from it. 

The Italian fable, it goes without saying, formed 
as a rule the mere basis of Shakespeare's dramatic 
structure. Having studied the Italian tale and 
examined its dramatic possibilities, Shakespeare 
altered and transmuted it with the utmost freedom 
as his dramatic spirit moved him. It is by his 
changes rather than by his literal transferences that 
the greatness of his faculty, the breadth of his 
intuitive grasp of human passion and sentiment, 
may best be gauged. 

Yet the scenes of his chief comedies and of 
many tragedies rarely leave Italy. The episodes are 
assigned to Venice or Verona, to Milan or Mantua, 
to Florence or Padua. He rarely takes the names 
of his characters from the Italian novels of his 
immediate study. He rechristens his dramatis per- 
sonaey but the new designations are no less Italian 
than the old. It is curious to observe that, when 
in As You Like It Shakespeare is dramatising a piece 
of English fiction by his fellow-countryman, Thomas 
Lodge, he rejects Lodge's amorphous name of 
Rosader for his hero and substitutes a name so 
rooted in the traditions of Italian literature as 
Orlando. I think it provable that Shakespeare's 
Orlando, the hero of As You Like It, was deliberately 

R 227 

I'he Book of Italy 

christened after the Orlando of Ariosto's great 
Italian epic. Shakespeare's Italian nomenclature 
may not always suggest quite so much as that ; but 
it invariably proclaims him the pupil of an Italian 
school, paying homage to his masters. 

At times Shakespeare's choice of Italian plot 
sets his work in the full tide of the Italian literary 
stream. The story of Romeo and Juliet, which 
Bandello first told to Europe, was made familiar to 
Italy by earlier pens. The tale, which has a right 
to be reckoned a national legend of Italy, was the 
theme of Shakespeare's earliest venture in tragedy 
of the great romantic kind. In his dramatic treat- 
ment of it, he gave indubitable promise of his 
glorious fertility and power. Manifold are the 
original touches of poetry, insight, and humour in 
Shakespeare's version of the Italian novel. Yet 
who can deny the Italian glow which lives in 
Shakespeare's radiant picture of youthful love ? 

The play of Twelfth Night is cast in a very 
different mould from that of Romeo and Juliet. 
Everybody knows the main plot, how a girl is dis- 
guised as a page ; and how, while her master moves 
her love, she is sent by him to plead his suit with a 
proud beauty, who on her part is fascinated by the 
supposed boy. The fable is a fantasy of which all 
the elements are dyed in Italian colours. Bandello, 
although he gave the story its European vogue, was, 
as in the case of Romeo and Juliet, but one of its 
Italian narrators. No English alchemy could free 
the sensitive and intricate amours of their Italian 
note. Shakespeare's play, in spite of his mani- 
pulation of the Italian plot, and his fusion with it 

Shakespeare and the Italian Novel 

of much original comic episode, echoes the strains 
which Boccaccio's youths and maidens voiced in 
the garden overlooking Florence at the dawn of 
the Italian Renaissance. What atmosphere save 
that of sensuous Florence does Duke Orsino breathe 
when in the first speech of the play he makes lan- 
guorous appeal to the musicians : 

" That strain again ! it had a dying fall : 
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound 
That breathes upon a bank of violets, 
Stealing and giving odour." 

Shakespeare's tragedy of Othello^ the best con- 
structed of all his tragic dramas, presents life in its 
sternest aspect and passion in its fiercest guise. 
Yet it is based as directly as Romeo and Juliet 
and Twelfth Night on Italian foundations ; and, 
unlike the other Italian stories whence Shakespeare 
drew his plots, the fable of Othello is not known to 
have circulated out of Italy, or rather out of the 
Italian language, before Shakespeare handled it. 
The author of the story of Shakespeare's tragedy of 
Othello is the sixteenth-century novelist, Cinthio of 
Ferrara. Some of his tales had been rendered into 
French, and at least one into English. Before 
Shakespeare wrote Othello he had himself made 
a first draft on Cinthio 's store of fiction. The plot 
of Measure for Measure was of Cinthio 's devising ; 
but that painful Italian story was ready to Shake- 
speare's hand in an English version. Not so the 
little novel of the Moor of Venice. In the Italian 
alone was that tragic history to be studied. In 
adapting the incidents to his purposes, Shakespeare 


T'he Book of Italy 

here if anywhere exerted all his powers. With 
magical subtlety he invests the character of Othello 
with passionate intensity, of which the Italian 
novelist knew little. lago is transformed by the 
English dramatist from the conventional Italian 
criminal of Cinthio's page into the profoundest of 
all portraits of hypocrisy and intellectual villainy. 
At every point Shakespeare has lifted the theme 
high above the melodramatic level on which the 
Italian had left it. New subsidiary characters are 
added. The catastrophe is wholly reconstructed. 
The master spirit is everywhere at work with 
magnificent energy. Yet Cinthio's guidance is not 
to be disparaged. His story holds the sparks which 
Shakespeare's genius fanned into brilliant flame. 

Shakespeare's indebtedness to Italy has many 
parallels in the history of English poetry. Chaucer, 
Shakespeare's greatest poetic predecessor, was an 
admiring disciple of the work of both Dante and 
Boccaccio. Milton, Shakespeare's successor on the 
throne of English poetry, was an appreciative and 
grateful student in many Italian poetic schools. 
When we leap a century and face the great revival, 
of which Byron and Shelley were two exponents, 
we meet in English poetry with a passionate devotion 
to Italy, which was accentuated by Italy's con- 
temporary suffering and oppression. The Brownings 
bore on high the same torch until it reached the 
hand of Swinburne, who was stirred by Italy's past 
and present fortune to his noblest poetic utterances. 
Swinburne was profoundly sympathetic with Italy 
in her manful struggles for liberty and unity, and 

Shakespeare and the Italian Novel 

he greeted exultingly her restoration to a place 
among the great nations. He saw in the colours of 
her flag, green and white and red, symbols of hope 
and light and life. Had he lived to be with us 
to-day, we may say with confidence that he would 
have applied to Italy at this moment his own words 
of earlier date : 

** She feels her ancient breath and the old blood 
Move in her immortal veins." 

Swinburne's poems on Italy worthily pursue a 
great tradition of English poetry. The Italian alle- 
giance of Shakespeare, emperor of English poets, 
gives that tradition its most dazzling glory. 

Sidney Lee. 



Words by 
Abraham Cowley. 

Music by 



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'T'he Book of Italy 




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The Book of Italy 








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"Bathing in the River 

PiETRO Reggio was one of the numerous Italian 
musicians who settled in England in the seven- 
teenth century. Born at Genoa, he was in the 
service of Christina, Queen of Sweden, during her 
residence in Rome, but came to England before 
1677. He published a book of songs in 1680, 
from which the song here printed is taken. The 
words are from Abraham Cowley's book. The 
Mistress y or several copies of Love-Verses (1668) ; 
the original song has six stanzas, of which Reggio 
has set the first and third. Reggio lived mostly at 
Oxford, where he enjoyed a considerable reputation. 
He is supposed to be identical with a musician 
mentioned by Pepys as the " slovenly and ugly 
fellow, Signor Pedro, who sings Italian songs to 
the theorbo most neatly " {Diary, July 22, 1664). 
He died in 1685. 

Edward J. Dent. 



At the beginning of the tenth century, an other- 
wise unknown Italian poet, in the stirring Latin 
lines of the Carmen mutinensey summoned his fellow- 
citizens to arms, to keep vigilant watch and ward 
over the ramparts of Modena. It is a splendid 
poem, in which reminiscences of the classical tra- 
ditions of Rome blend with the religious faith of 
mediaeval Italy into a new national utterance, of 
which the echoes float proudly and confidently 
across the walls in defiance of the Hungarian 

But, in the centuries that followed, the shadow 
of the Holy Roman Empire lay over the national 
life of Italy. In the eyes of the Italians, the Teutons 
were " barbarians." There is documentary evid- 
ence that the men of Milan and her allied cities, 
who, on May 29, 1176, defeated Frederick Barba- 
rossa at the battle of Legnano, believed in an Italy 
as their common motherland over and above the 
communes for which they ostensibly fought. Never- 
theless, those German kings, who at intervals 
descended the Alps and laid waste the Italian fields 
as they forced their way to Rome to receive the 
imperial crown, were regarded by Italian nobles 
and burghers alike as the source of law, their rightful 
suzerains, the true successors of Caesar and Augustus 

fA Fourteenth-Century Singer 

no less than of Charlemagne and the OtHos. In 
Carducci's famous poem, Su i campi di Marengo^ 
we may read how, on the night of Easter Eve, 1175, 
Frederick finds himself hemmed in by the army of 
the Lombard League, and the burghers are already 
raising the cry of victory. As the Alps appear in 
the dawn, the German Caesar bids his standard- 
bearer display the sacred sign, the imperial eagle, 
in the face of the League, and the herald announce : 
** The Roman Emperor is passing, the heir of the 
divine Julius, the successor of Trajan " : 

" Deh come allegri e rapidi si sparsero gli squilli 
De le trombe teutoniche fra il Tanaro ed il Po, 
Quando in cospetto a I'aquila gli animi ed i vessilli 
D'ltalia s'inchinarono e Cesare passo." ^ 

Dante attempted to establish a national language, 
** to create a form worthy of representing the 
national idea," as Mazzini so finely said of him. 
He already saw Italy, although divided in body, 
" united by the gracious light of reason." * But 
the old conception of the Holy Roman Empire, 
however idealised, still rules the politics of the 
Divina Commedia ; although the poet may well 
have hoped that the Veltro, the Deliverer whose 
coming he announced, who would make Rome the 
true capital of the world, might be realised in the 
person of an Italian prince, under whom the Em- 
pire itself would be once more Italian and Roman 
in fact, as it was still Roman in name. It has been 

1 *' Ah, how joyously and rapidly the blasts rang out of the German 
trumpets between the Tanaro and the Po, when in the sight of the eagle 
the minds and the banners of Italy bowed down, and Caesar passed on." 

2 De Vulgari Eloquentia^ i. i8. 


"The Book of Italy 

said that the italianita of Petrarch is one of his 
finest and most saUent characteristics. His famous 
canzone, Italia mia, conceives of Italy as one nation, 
and declares that Italian arms can still achieve her 
destinies : 

" Vertii contra furore .. 

Prendera Tarme ; e fia '1 combatter corto ; 
Che Tantiquo valore 
Ne I'italici cor non e ancor morto." ^ 

But the nationalism of Petrarch, though ardent, 
is vague and indefinite ; he has no settled conviction 
as to the form in which the national peace is to be 
secured, the aspirations of the Italians to be actual- 
ised. It is on the lips of a lesser man, one who 
was by comparison a minor poet, that the true voice 
of the nation made itself heard with no uncertain 

Fazio degli Uberti was a great-grandson of that 
Farinata whom Dante saw in the Inferno rising 
indomitable from his fiery tomb. Born in exile 
from Florence in the first decade of the fourteenth 
century, Fazio was a Ghibelline or imperialist, like 
the rest of his house. He had begun by exhorting 
Ludwig of Bavaria to come and revive the dead 
Ghibelline cause, to avenge Manfred and Conradin.^ 
But he speedily outgrows this crude imperialism of 
an earlier epoch. In a famous canzone, Quella 
virtu che 7 terzo cielo injonde^ he prays love to give 
him grace to recite in defence of Italy what he has 

^ " Virtue will take arms against fury ; and the combat will be short ; 
for the ancient valour is not yet dead in Italian hearts." 
2 LirichCy ed. Renier, canz. xi. 
^ Ibid.y canz. xii. 


<A Fourteenth-Century Singer 

heard in vision from a white-haired Lady who told 
him that she was alma Roma. She has appeared to 
him in a dream, stately in aspect, but clad in mourn- 
ing attire, poor and in need, surrounded by the 
ghosts of the mighty heroes of antiquity. She is 
abandoned by all who should aid her. Her Senate 
has mangled her with its own hands ; the gate is 
barred against her, and reason shut out, whilst 
pride, envy, and avarice guard the threshold. She 
looks to the north, and there is none but the 
Emperor, Charles of Luxemburg, who has deserted 
her ; to the south, and there is only Apulia (under 
Queen Giovanna), upon which the wrath of God 
is falling. So far, we have not got beyond the 
mediaeval sphere of ideas ; but now the poem 
takes a new intonation : 

" Per6 surgi gridando, figliuol mio ; 
Desta gl' Italiani addormentati. 

Di' lor, come a figliuoli, il mio^disio, 
Ch' e' sempre fur compagni de' mie' nati ; 
Non sien pigri ne ingrati. 
A pormi nel gran seggio, ond' io cascai, 
Un sol modo ci»veggo, e quel dirai. 

O figliuol mio, da quanta crudel guerra 
Tutti insieme verremo a dolcie pace, 
Se Italia soggiace 
A un solo re, che '1 mio voler consente ! 

. • . • ' t • 

Di che seguiter^ inmantenente 
Che ogni pensier rio di tirannia 
Al tutto spento fia 
Per la succession perpetuale. 


"The Book of Italy 

Or vedi la grandezza, dove sale 
Questa, ch' e donna dell* altre province, 
Se '1 suo peccato stesso nolla vince. 

Canzon mia, cierca il talian giardino, 
Chiuso d' intorno dal suo proprio mare, 
E piu la non passare." ^ 

Here, in a poem written about 1366, we have 
for the first time the conception, definitely and 
clearly expressed, of a united Italian kingdom, 
ruled by a hereditary line of Italian kings. Never- 
theless, Fazio still conceives of Italy as dependent 
upon the Empire, inasmuch as this new king is to 
receive the investiture from the Emperor. There 
remains the further step of utterly repudiating the 
imperial authority, and, in the disgust caused by 
the conduct of Charles during his second Italian 
expedition in 1368, Fazio takes this final step. In 
his canzone, Di quel possi tu ber che bevve Crasso, 
" Of that potion mayst thou drink that Crassus 
drank," ^ he brings the Italian nation herself upon 
the scene to rebuke the degenerate Caesar : 

* " Rise then, my son, and cry aloud ; awaken the slumbering Italians 
... Tell them, as my children, my desire, for they were ever companions 
of my offspring : let them not be sluggish nor ungrateful. To restore me 
to the great seat whence I have fallen, I see one only way, and that will I 
tell. ... O my son, from how cruel a war we shall all together come to 
sweet peace, if Italy be subject to one sole king according to my will. . . . 
From which will straightway follow that every evil thought of tyranny will 
be utterly quenched by the perpetual succession. . . . Now see the great- 
ness to which she will ascend, who is Lady of all other provinces, if 
her own sin overcome her not. . . . My song, search through the Italian 
garden, closed round with its own sea, and pass not beyond." 

* Liriche^ ed. cit., canz. xiv. 


^ Fourteenth'Century Singer 

" Sappi ch' i' sono Italia, che ti parlo, 
Di Luzinborgo ignominoso Carlo. 

O d' Aquisgrana maladetta paglia, 
O di Melano sventurato ferro, 
O di Roma ancor 1' oro, il qual te erro 
Ha come imperadore incoronato ! 

Chi vorra piu che '1 sia 

Venuto dalla Magna in le mie parti, 

Vedendo te aver tese tue arti 

Con tor danari, e gir con essi a casa ? 

Tu dunque, Giove, perch^ '1 santo ucciello .... 

Da questo Carlo quarto 

Imperador nol togli e dallelmani 

Degli altri lurchi moderni germani, 

Che d' aquila uno allocco n' hanno fatto ? 

E rendil si disfatto 

Ancora a' miei Latini e a' Romani." ^ 

It may reasonably be argued that, from the day 
when the barbarian conqueror dethroned the last 
of the old Roman Emperors in the West, to that on 
which the second Victor Emanuel first assumed the 
crown of the Italian kingdom, there was never a 
time when Italy was a mere ** geographical expres- 
sion," or when, somewhere or other in the utterances 

^ " Know that I am Italy who speak to thee, of Luxemburg thou 
ignominious Charles. . . . O cursed glitter of Aachen, O hapless iron of 
Milan, and eke the gold of Rome that has crowned thee Emperor. . . . 
Who will again desire one to come from Germany into my realms, after 
seeing thee use thy arts to extort money and return with it to thy home ? 
. . . O Jove on high, why dost not take the holy bird from this fourth 
Charles Emperor and from the hands of the other guzzling modern Ger- 
mans, who from an eagle have made it an owl, and give it back, thus 
defaced, again to my Italians and to the Romans ? " 

s 243 

The Book of Italy 

of her sons, a trace of the national idea might not be 
discerned. But it is in the poetry of this Florentine 
exile, of whose life practically nothing is known, 
that the national aspirations first ring out with such 
dramatic vividness, a century and a half before 
the burning eloquence of the closing chapter of the 
Principe of Machiavelli. 

Edmund G. Gardner. 



Tourists are like sheep ; where one goes, another 
goes. Also, tourism has its unwritten laws rarely 
disregarded. Of these one lays down that the city 
of Pisa and its sights can be adequately seen between 
two trains. How did this stepmotherly fashion of 
treating one of the most ancient and not least 
interesting of Italian cities arise ? The laws of 
tourism have no logical foundations. But the fact 
remains, and even the more intelligent obey this 
behest. Ho wells, for some reason quite unexplained, 
goes so far as to label this attractively languorous city 
as " Pitiless Pisa." And the inhabitants, accepting 
this tourist decree, have laid themselves out to 
assist it ; the cabs and touts know to a second how 
to steer the traveller from main sight to main sight 
within the given interval, the hotels think it unneces- 
sary to vary their menu, since if the traveller should 
stay one night he will not stay two. And yet it 
was not thus in the days of Byron, Shelley, and Leigh 
Hunt, who abode here for months. But then there 
were no trains or motors, and hurry and rush had 
not yet invaded the world. 

Whatever the cause, when some while ago I 
went to Pisa and answered the astonished hotelier 
that I proposed to stay a week or more in his house, 
he looked me over rather dubiously, as though 
doubtful of my sanity. 


T'he Book of Italy 

Well, my previsions were justified, and I found 
my week so all too short that I shall shortly return 
to continue my sight-seeing. In point of fact, the 
famous Leaning Tower, which everyone goes to 
Pisa to see, is one of the least of Pisa's attractions, 
beyond its interest as a problem in geometrical 
engineering and the wonder that it excites that it 
should remain standing despite its perilous seem- 
ing list, which, as Dickens remarked, " certainly 
leans as much as the most sanguine tourist could 
desire." But architecturally, artistically, it is not 
the most beautiful of Italy's many beautiful cam- 
panili ; its rows upon rows of columns, widening 
from floor to roof, grow somewhat monotonous to 
the eye that regards them long and often (which, 
however, the hurried tourist never does). It is 
characteristic of the Pisan style at its worst, with its 
over-ornateness and the monotony aroused to mind 
and eye from the multiplicity of identical details. 

Obviously, I would not belittle the so-called 
Four Fabrics, that great group of the Leaning 
Tower, the Duomo, the Baptistery, and Campo 
Santo, which in their splendid isolation, *' fortunate 
in their solitude and their society," stand in a wide 
space of greensward a little aside from the city, 
and are truly, as Rogers sings, 

*' Four such as nowhere on the earth are seen 

and whether seen in sunlight or, better yet, by moon- 
light, diffuse a peculiar opalescent radiance. But 
what I wish to insist on is that, however much 
this great group is the concentrated and concrete 


I— i 

s ^ 

H ^ 


U^glected Pisa 

expression of the Pisan mind, and illustrates to 
perfection the modification she imposed on the 
Tuscan-Romanesque style by her love of splendour 
and of detail, so that the Pisan style has come to 
have a distinct meaning of its own, there are other 
objects of great artistic interest to be seen in and 
round Pisa w^hich neither the lover of beauty, the 
student of art, or the historian can aflFord to neglect. 

I will not dwell upon the Arno, wider, more 
rapid here than at Florence, dividing the city in 
a noble sweep, whose beautiful curve a fifteenth- 
century Florentine compared to the arch of a cross- 
bow ; upon the bridges, four in number, that span it, 
bound up as they are with Pisan history and Pisan 
customs ; upon the wide, silent streets, flanked by 
dignified palaces or mediaeval houses, all more or 
less repeating the Pisan arcaded style. Nor will 
I dwell on Leghorn, twenty minutes distant, Pisa's 
trade rival and supplanter ; on the fortress of La 
Verruca, that once guarded Pisan independence ; on 
the fine Charterhouse of Calci, whose white build- 
ings, set against a green hillside, form a landmark 
for miles around ; nor even on Cascina, a tiny walled 
township, once subject to the Republic, and so small 
that its walls can be circumvented in less than ten 
minutes, while containing within these walls every 
feature of a real fortified township, with moat, 
towers, gates, and a citadel. 

But I would like to speak of S. Piero a Grado, the 
first Christian church in Pisa, raised according to 
legend by S. Peter himself, close to the ancient 
port, then not yet silted up, when driven ashore 
by contrary winds, and styled a Gradus Arnensis on 


T^he Book of Italy 

this account. Though this vast basilica, which rises, 
a noble landmark, above the plain a few miles from 
Pisa, has been in the course of time altered, white- 
washed, plastered, even so the original Lombard 
style is marked and very different, in its austere 
simplicity, from the elaborations of the Duomo. 
In every respect an interesting basilica, built almost 
entirely of ancient materials, for its antique columns, 
stolen no doubt from Pagan temples, of Greek and 
Oriental marble and granite, are of every style, the 
capitals rarely fitting the pillars where chance has 
placed them. At each end there is an apse. The 
impressive edifice, which lies at lower level than 
the road, is entered by a single door on the north, 
which side is also the more ornate, Moorish majolica 
plates of rich colour and fine design being inserted 
between the blind arches, while here and there 
fragments of classical sculpture and broken Roman 
inscriptions and milestones have served as building 
materials for its flanks and its tall, dignified campanile. 
Further, the whole nave is decorated with three 
tiers of fourteenth-century frescoes attributed to 
Giunta Pisano — below, a series of Popes; in the centre, 
the histories of S. Peter and S. Paul ; above, a series 
of angels quaintly peeping from open or half-open 
windows — too much and too badly restored to be 
valuable as works of art, but imparting a pleasant, 
warm, harmonious colouring to the interior. 

Ancient temples have evidently, indeed, had to 
give their heavy quota to the building of Pisan 
Christian churches. A characteristic example is 
S. Michele in Borgo, transformed from a temple 
to Mars after designs by Niccolo Pisano, and still 

!^(eglected Pisa 

owning its ancient granite columns. Huddled among 
the houses of Pisa's Borgo, her busy shopping street, 
only its fa9ade is visible from outside, a gothicised 
copy of the Duomo's. Built upon the ruins and 
with part of the material of a temple to Venus is 
S. Andrea Forisportae, interesting to Dante students 
as the church where was buried the poet-statesman 
and friend of the Swabian Emperor Frederick II, 
Pier della Vigna — 

*' I am he who both the keys had in keeping 
Of Frederick's heart " — 

falsely accused of treachery to his imperial master, 
arrested in S. Miniato dei Tedeschi, and conducted 
ignominiously round on a mule through the streets 
of Pisa, in whose prison he dashed out his brains 
rather than live disgraced and humiliated. 

Not far off — in shrunken Pisa nothing is far off — 
stands S. Francesco, one of those gaunt, bare churches 
consisting of a single nave, raised by the Preaching 
Friars and founded at the personal instigation of 
the poor little man of Assisi himself when visiting 
Pisa. Many faded frescoes decorate the chapels of 
the choir, the sacristy, the chapter-house, but its 
chief interest is the spot where Count Ugolino della 
Gheradesca and his sons were buried, the irons still 
on their limbs after the gruesome death in the Tower 
of Famine, so graphically told by Dante : 

" I saw the three fall one by one. . . . 
And three days called them after they were dead, 
Then hunger did what sorrow could not do." 

The tomb is close under the tall elegant campanile, 
which must be seen from the inside of the church 


T'he Book of Italy 

to appreciate its uniqueness, for it is only partly 
planted on the earth, but chiefly supported on two 
brackets springing out of the side transept. It is 
attributed to one of the Pisanos ; and to them also 
is assigned another unique campanile, far more 
lovely than the more familiar Leaning Tower, and 
also out of the perpendicular, for those to whom its 
list is its chief attraction. I refer to the octagonal 
tower of S. Niccolo. Its exterior has solidly pan- 
elled arches surmounted by an open loggia and 
ends in a pyramid. Its interior, too, presents a 
remarkable architectural feat, copied by Bramante 
and San Gallo. The easily-graded staircase is so 
contrived *' that the spectator at the foot sees those 
who go up, those ascending see those below, while 
he who stands midway can see both those above 
and below," as Vasari puts it. These Pisani were 
unquestionable all-round geniuses. 

To another Pisano, probably Andrea, is due that 
tiny, exquisite, fantastically lovely gem, the fisher- 
men's shrine, S. Maria della Spina, where the 
mariners stayed their boats to invoke the Virgin's 
blessing ere quitting Pisa, and which harbours, 
tradition says, a fragment of the Crown of Thorns, 
whence its name. But this little shrine, with its 
exuberance of ornament, its canopies, its statues, 
perched on the wall of the embankment, is known 
even to the between-trains tourist. He has some- 
times a moment, too, for S. Stefano, the conventual 
church of Cosimo I's Order of S. Stefano, founded 
to harry the Turk, ever Italy's secular foe, whose 
pirates infested the Mediterranean and plundered the 
coasts of Tuscany. The single nave is decorated with 

!^(egiected Pisa 

Turkish trophies won by the knights, many coloured 
and often lovely silken banners, scimitars, lamps, 
and richly-carved galley poops. It is these trophies 
that inspired d'Annunzio's Canzoni d'Oltremare, 
composed during the Turkish-Libyan war, inciting 
the Italians of to-day to emulate the deeds of their 
forbears and make an end in Europe of the Ottoman. 
The stately pile, standing in a lime-shaded 
square on the south bank of the Arno, is after the 
Duomo architecturally the most perfect church. 
As it stands it dates from the twelfth century, but it 
claims to have been founded by Charlemagne. Its 
Pisan-Romanesque facade is perchance more lovely 
than the Duomo, because less ornate and more 
reticent. It consists of five closed arches, two 
circular and two pointed, the entrance being through 
the central one, and over these arches rise two tiers 
of pillars, twisted, plain, and fluted, of vari-coloured 
marbles, in the true Pisan style, supporting open 
galleries ending in a gable. The side walls are 
panelled with lovely marbles of every hue — blue, 
white, black, and rose-coloured. The interior has 
suflfered at the restorer's hand, the restorer of that 
destructive epoch the eighteenth century, for the 
modern Italian restorers are, as a rule, artists, and 
preserve everything they can. Of the many art 
treasures it once possessed, the chief survivor is now 
at the Museum, a quaint, curious work by Bruno di 
Giovanni that represents S. Ursula in the act of 
saving the city of Pisa from one of the many floods 
that have done so much injury to the city in the past, 
and still often injure the low-lying lands about it. 
Both Pisa, a sturdy matron, and the girUsh Ursula, 


I'he Book of Italy 

are arrayed in royal mantles blazoned all over with the 
Ghibelline eagle ; the turbulent Arno, crowned with 
many kinds of fish, is seen to retreat at the saint's 
command. Hidden away in the erstwhile cloister 
of the church, and only to be seen from a window 
of the Canonica, if the surly old waiting-maid of the 
Prior is willing, is a curious little heptagonal chapel 
with a high-pointed roof not unlike the cloisters of 
S. Stephen at Westminster. It is said to contain 
the skull of the Sicilian martyr, S. Agatha. Why 
her head is here, seeing she had no connection with 
Pisa, directly or indirectly, does not appear. 

Two other greater saints, however, are more 
closely bound up with the city. They are S. Cathe- 
rine of Siena and S. Thomas Aquinas. It was 
when staying for some months at Pisa during one 
of her various visits, endeavouring to keep the city 
faithful to the papal sway, and preaching the crusade 
that was never carried out, that in the ancient church 
of S. Cristina, now modernised out of all knowledge, 
S. Catherine, praying before the crucifix painted 
by Giunta Pisano, and now preserved in her oratory 
at Siena, received the stigmata as S. Francis had 
received it at La Verna. It was during one of these 
visits to Pisa that the yearly festival of the Giuoco 
del Ponte occurred. This game, not so long discarded 
by the Pisans, was a rather rough affair, a sort of 
mock battle played on the Ponte del Mezzo between 
the north and south sides of the city, who cudgelled 
each other with wide flat bludgeons generally painted 
and inscribed with vainglorious mottoes. Each 
faction also carried gay banners bearing their de- 
vices, banners now preserved in the Museo Civico, 

U^glected Pisa 

together with a model of the game and an engraving 
showing Mr. George King and his illustrious lady, 
Isabella, Countess of Lanesborough, watching the 
game from a boat with an English flag flying from 
its prow. The noise of the drums and trumpets 
and the clashing of the combatants' wooden weapons 
disturbed S. Catherine at her devotions. She was 
divinely enjoined not to be afraid, and told the 
source of the commotion. Whereupon she prayed 
that never for all time to come might any evil happen 
by reason of the game to him who played it. Which 
thing was granted to her by Divine mercy. So 
runs the legend. And a proof that her prayers were 
heard is found in the fact that the first and only 
accident that was fatal did not happen till 1765. 
The church of S. Catherine of Alexandria is also 
connected with the Sienese saint, for into this 
Dominican convent church she would often glide 
quietly to pray. Situated in a large tree-shaded 
piazza, S. Caterina is an attractive object with its 
fine fagade, once again repeating an adaptation of 
that of the Duomo, tier rising above tier of trefoil 
arcades. The border of heads round the windows 
are curious, and the whole is carved in white marble. 
The inside, being intended for a preaching church, 
is plain and devoid of aisles, so that the sound can 
travel unimpeded. And here preached and taught 
from a cathedra, reverently preserved under glass, 
that greatest Dominican doctor, S. Thomas Aquinas. 
Here, too, is preserved the interesting picture by 
Traini, one of the few painters Pisa has produced, 
the Glorification of S. Thomas Aquinas, a pic- 
ture artistically and historically of rare importance. 


T'he Book of Italy 

S. Thomas, a colossal figure, with features taken 
from life — the broad and rather heavy face, the fine 
ample brow, the mild, thoughtful expression — is 
enthroned with a golden globe in the centre of the 
panel. Above his head is the Christ in a mandorla, 
and from Him proceed rays of light that fall on the 
head of S. Thomas, and from him again emanate 
through the Universe. On the saint's right hand 
stands Plato, holding open his Timeus ; on the left 
Aristotle, pointing to hx% Ethics ; Moses, S. Paul, the 
four Evangelists are seen above, each with his book. 
Under S. Thomas lie prostrate the three arch-heretics 
— Arius, Sabellius, and Averrhoes — with their books 
torn, while in the lower part of the picture a crowd 
of ecclesiastics look up to the saint. 

So much, very roughly and rapidly, for the so- 
called minor sights of Pisa. On the major I have not 
space to dwell, and they are too familiar, ** the labour 
of an age in piled stone." Less familiar again and 
deserving of several visits is the Museo Civico, which 
the between-trains visitor has not time to see — a vast 
collection of rooms containing many pictures and 
sculptured treasures removed from decrepit churches 
and dismantled convents. Here, too, in a damp, dark 
room of an outer cloister of S. Francesco, is housed 
a rare treasure, which it is much to be hoped the 
Italian Government may see its way to restoring 
to its ancient home. I refer to the remains of 
Giovanni Pisano's splendid pulpit, made for the 
Duomo in 1392, and broken by the great fire of 1595. 
So much of it is intact that it should not be difficult 
for some skilful Italian architect-sculptor to recom- 
pose it, as Boito did Donatello's altar at Padua or 


^glected Pisa 

Castellucci the della Robbia singing gallery at Flor- 
ence. The nine panels that surrounded the upper 
part of the pulpit are magnificent testimony to 
Giovanni's dramatic power, and are intact, as is the 
central support, a lovely pillar encircled by the 
Three Graces, as well as the two side columns, alle- 
gorical figures of Pisa and Good Government. 
One of the single figures, a S. Michael, is an exquisite 
thing, as exquisite as one may ever hope to behold, 
and worthy to take place beside that other Christian 
knight, the chivalrous S. George of Donatello. 

Indeed, we latter-day travellers can still truth- 
fully echo Rutilius' description of Pisa as — 

** Wondrous the aspect of the place." 

Helen Zimmern. 



Twenty years ago I saw Florence with the eye of 
sense for the first time, though to my ** mind's 
eye " the old city, within the first circuit, which 
was " ancient " even in Dante's time (the area 
still contains much of what brings the perpetual 
stream of pilgrims to Florence), was more familiar 
than almost any other city space in the world. 

We entered (my wife and I) on foot, between 
ten and eleven at night, having walked the last seven 
or eight miles of the way down along the old moun- 
tain road that runs direct from Bologna, just west 
of Fiesole. We chose this approach because I had 
a fancy that my first sight of Florence should be 
from the Uccellatoio, whence Dante tells us that 
in his day the splendour of " the great city on the 
fair stream," first breaking upon the astonished 
gaze of the traveller, outvied the glories of Rome 
as seen from Monte Mario. So we had made our 
plans accordingly. 

Florence was the goal of our pilgrimage, but we 
had spent a few memorable days in Northern Italy 
on our way. One night we spent in Milan, one in 
Verona, two in Padua, one in Venice, and two in 
Ravenna. The apparent folly and the actual wisdom 
of this race through city after city (which was 
absolutely counter to all our theories and convic- 
tions) seem to me, to this day, equally incredible. 

T'he Lights of Florence 

It appears so foolish to have planned so much. 
But then it was so wise to attempt so little, in the 
way of specific sight-seeing, in each city. For we 
never hurried, and we never came away from any- 
thing till we had got as much out of it as we could 
take in at a first view. We never came away from 
anything because " we really must see " something 
else. So in Milan we saw — nothing. In Verona 
we saw the Amphitheatre — and Verona ! In Padua 
we saw the Giottos in the Arena Chapel. In Venice 
we saw the opalescent light on the lagoons, we 
breathed the ozone, we saw the great panorama 
from the top of the Campanile, we felt the lurch 
of the gondola — and the golden glory of San Marco 
came into our lives never to depart.^ Ravenna was 
more of a revelation than any other city. The period 
stretching from the fourth to the sixth centuries, 
that I had always thought of, or rather felt towards, 
as a kind of waste land, so far as any significance to 
human civilisation goes, opened up vista after vista. 
What if the lost history of Arianism could be re- 
covered ! What if we could know the whole life 
of that age in which the great system of Roman 
Law — the most august instrument for the regulation 
of normal human relations that has ever been forged 

^ What must Constantinople have been in the early years of the 
thirteenth century ! jThe Venetians who joined the Fourth Crusade under 
Dandolo, knew San Marco in all its comparatively youthful glory, but 
they were one and all stupefied by the unimaginable splendour of Byzan- 
tium. The historian Ville-Hardouin was in their company, and I sup- 
pose his record would have meant nothing very particular to me if I had 
read it before I had had . the opportunity of learning what the Venetian 
standard of splendour was likely to be. But now the very name of 
Byzantium seems to stretch the conception of earthly splendour beyond 
the dreams of oriental fable. 


"The Book of Italy 

by man — ^was matured and perfected ! What en- 
larged conceptions of art, and of the inexhaustible 
variety and beauty of the many phases and render- 
ings of the Christian faith and hope, would be 
ours ! Ravenna is still there just to give us a hint 
of the lights that once shone in the depths of 
what we still call the *' dark " ages. And we saw 
the Pineta, too — Dante's Pineta, which gave him 
images for his description of the Garden of Eden. 
Nowhere indeed was he nearer to us than in 

And now we were to call a halt in this wild race, 
for we intended to make a stay in Florence. And 
we wanted to see her first from the Uccellatoio. 
So we took the light railway from Ravenna to Forll, 
and then turned north-west on the main line 
towards Bologna, got out at Faenza, and took the 
little Apennine railway, to climb and bore the 
mountains till we could strike the direct mountain 
road from Bologna, a little above Florence. It was 
a wonderful journey. Now a great city spread 
itself upon an upland plain, and now the weird 
forms of desolate clay hills and rocks vindicated the 
realistic accuracy of the artists (whom we had always 
credited hitherto with the extreme of childlike 
naivete of imagination) in their depicting of the 
scenes in which the " Fathers of the Wilderness '* 
exchanged friendships with ravens, hinds, or lions. 
When we came to Vaglia we left our train and took 
lunch at a little inn, where we should have had 
meagre fare if we had not brought some provisions 

^ Though we soon found that the local hero of Ravenna was neither 
Dante, nor Theodoric, nor Justinian, nor Belisarius — but Byron. 




T'he Lights of Florence 

from Ravenna. They gave us a pat of butter, 
however, and it was so white (being made, I suppose, 
from goat milk) that it made the plates and the 
spotless cloth look blue. I understood why Dante 
describes the heraldic shield of a certain usurer as 
bearing a " goose whiter than butter," and when 
I got home I persuaded a certain translator of the 
Comedy^ who had substituted ** curd " for " butter '* 
in his version, to let Dante have his way in the 
next edition of his volume. 

My wife was no great pedestrian, even twenty 
years ago, so we were glad to come across a peasant 
who was driving his eggs to the market in a donkey 
cart, and who cheerfully added the ** signora " to 
his load, while I walked by his side, holding such 
converse as the Tower of Babel still leaves possible 
under such circumstances. When he stopped to 
bait, we parted from him, with mutual satisfaction 
as to terms, and pursued our way on foot. 

The unwarned traveller by this road would see 
neither the Uccellatoio nor Florence. For when 
you have just passed, on your left, the tangle of 
byways that throws a net round the mountain 
village of Pratolino, the present road cuts inside a 
little ridge on a spur of Monte Morello, and so 
escapes a stiff rise up to the Uccellatoio — and 
misses the view of Florence ! And the city, as a 
whole, is never seen if you miss it here. But we 
were forearmed. The very friend who had not 
dared to trust the British public with Dante's " white 
butter " (though I am sure he knew all about it 
himself, for what he does not know about Italy is 
hardly worth finding out) had told us what to do. 

T 259 

"^he Book of Italy 

So we forked off to the right from the present high- 
way, and, keeping the old road of Dante's day, 
climbed the ascent to the Outlook. But black care 
was already seated on our hearts ; for we had mis- 
calculated our time, and at first we feared, and then 
dismally acknowledged that we knew, that night 
would have fallen before we came in view of 
Florence. And so it was. We reached the spot, 
and all in a moment, as we turned a corner of the 
hill, there gleamed up out of the valley, like a cloud 
of fire-flies, the lights of Florence, still some miles 
distant. Tired travellers are apt to be over-nice as 
to accommodation (unless indeed they are dog- 
tired, which we were not as yet), and there seemed 
no remotest chance of finding any quarters at the 
Uccellatoio that I could in conscience ask my wife 
to accept, with a view to recovering in the morning 
the chance we had lost at night. So with a pang 
we relinquished the dream of years ; but after all 
we were too rich to repine, and we tried to console 
ourselves with the idea that this " first view " craze 
was only a fancy, and had a strong flavour of senti- 
mentality about it ; and that we should have many 
other opportunities of looking down upon Florence 
from the Uccellatoio. As a matter of fact, neither 
of us has ever been there again. 

So on we trudged, expecting soon to find some 
conveyance, perhaps a tram. But we were dis- 
appointed. Through Trespiano (which Dante seems 
to wish were still the northern boundary of the 
Florentine territory, as it was in the good old times) 
on into the outskirts of Florence herself we went, 
through interminable stretches of the modern city, 

"The Lights of Florence 

till suddenly, after just one moment of confusion, 
caused by a sight of San Lorenzo, we found our- 
selves right on the area of Cacciaguida's ^ Florence 
— and mine. There was the Baptistery, the trans- 
formed Temple of Mars, according to Florentine 
tradition, the Cathedral of Cacciaguida's day, and 
Dante's ** mio bel San Giovanni," where he was 
baptized, and where he vainly hoped that his recon- 
ciled City might crown him as a poet when once he 
had completed the Paradiso, And there were the 
bronze doors, " worthy to be the gates of Paradise," 
added in the Renaissance times. Hard by was Giotto's 
Tower, and the great Duomo, of which Dante saw 
the foundations, but no more. It seemed only a 
few steps (but this I was prepared for) to the 
Loggia dei Lanzi and the Palazzo Vecchio, and 
then to the Ponte Vecchio — all actually here " if 
anywhere." Then a turn to the right, a pause on 
the Ponte Santa Trinita, as the moon rose over San 
Miniato and the Arno twinkled under her beams, 
and in a few moments we were groping our way in 
pitch darkness up the ** well "of an old palace, 
now a hospitable pension^ where we lay down with 
thankful hearts to sleep in Florence, and henceforth 
for a season to measure our hours by the boom of 
the great bell that still floods the air of Florence 
with its mellow wealth of sound, from the height of 
Giotto's Campanile, and is still a living presence 
in our hearts. 

Philip H. Wicksteed. 

^ Cacciaguida was Dante's great-great-grandfather. In the Paradiso 
his spirit describes the Florence of his day, with its noble simplicity, to 
Dante, and also foretells his exile. 



Some words that Mazzini wrote in 1853 recall the 
old compact between England and Italy — words, 
as it happens, not unlike some addressed to his 
own people by an English writer the other day. 
" Tell the English people," said Mazzini, " that 
their actual duty is war — ^war, in order to ascertain 
whether Europe is to be given up defenceless to 
the successive encroachments of despotism, or to be 
God's Europe — free, orderly, and peacefully progres- 
sive. War ; to solve once for all the problem of ages : 
whether man is to be a passive slave trampled upon 
by brutal organised force, or a free agent ! . . ." 

These words were paraphrased afterwards in 
the countersign that Swinburne gave in the poem 
from which the present title is taken. ** Let the 
flags of the other nations that have denied liberty 
fade," he says : 

*' Let England's, if it float not for men free, 
Fall, and forget the sea ; 
Let France's, if it shadow a hateful head, 
Drop as a leaf drops dead ! " 

But for the flag of Italy : 

'' Thine, let the wind that can, by sea or land. 
Wrest from thy banner hand : 
Die they in whom dies freedom, die and cease. 

Though the world weep for these ; 
Live thou and love and lift when these lie dead 
The green and white and red ! " 

T^he Song of Italy 

This was in a time of danger to the freedom of 
Europe, for whose light Mazzini taught him to watch 
with eager looks. And when afterwards, in his 
Songs before Sunrise, he made himself the trumpet 
of the new dawn, as he conceived it, the pages 
were dedicated to the regenerator of Italy in lines 
memorable for their ardent homage. This later 
book contains the most fervid of all the interpella- 
tions of Italy in his poetry. Indeed, the spirit of 
revolt it expresses is one to appeal to us now that 
a New Revolution in Europe is stirring our blood 
— now lifting and now drooping the colours : 

*' Italy, what of the night ? 

Ah, child, child, it is long ! 

Moonbeam and starbeam and song 
Leave it dumb now and dark. 
Yet I perceive on the height, 

Eastward, not now very far, 
A song too loud for the lark, 

A light too strong for a star." 

And when it is a question of the effect of Italy 
at large upon the imagination of England, we see 
that this poet is not a solitary devotee by any means. 
He is one of a tradition, lyrical and artistic, freely 
borrowing, and not always able to repay. For our 
custom of using ItaUan loans in poetry began 
in good earnest with Chaucer, whose Canterbury 
Tales went to the Teseide of Boccaccio for the 
" Knight's Tale," and to the end of the Decameron 
for the " Clerk's Tale "—the tale of Griselda, 
which in its original form Petrarch said no one 
could read without tears. It is in his setting of the 


"the Book of Italy 

tale that Chaucer refers to Petrarch, and uses for 
the first time, in Enghsh, the term of " poet laureate " : 

" Fraunces Petrark, the laureat poete, 
Highte this clerk, whos rethorique swete 
Enlumynd al Ytail of poetrie ..." 

Leaving Chaucer, who visited Ytail in 13 — , we pass 
by Gower and his verse, as we might pass on the 
way, to turn to Sir Thomas Wyatt. He brought 
another subtle current of the Latin romance move- 
ment into the broad English stream. 

Enough to mention his debt to poets and 
versifiers like Serafino Comino, Wyatt's sonnet 
declaring how " The Lover forsaketh his Unkinde 
Love," which begins : 

" My heart I gave thee ; not to do it pain, 
But to preserve ..." 

was adapted from two of that writer's strambotti. 
And afterwards Sir Philip Sidney, another poet 
with Italian relations, took a cue from Wyatt's sonnet 
for his famous song : 

*' My true love hath my heart, and I have his." 

Such are the intricacies of the lyric pedigree, that 
derives its branches from a Latin romance-stock. 

With Wyatt and Surrey it was a new kind of 
amoristic melody that they learnt, and with Milton 
it was the use of the harmonic overtones that he 
gained from Italy and the South. One must slip 
some centuries to come now to Byron and Shelley. 

Needless to say, Byron's Italy was not Shelley's ; 
but in ** Beppo " and the " Ode to Venice," where 
he laments over her decay, he shows himself a true 

I'he Song of Italy 

devotee. The ** Prophecy of Dante," again, contains 
two eloquent detachable passages. One is on the 
language and the land : 

**We can have but one Country, and even yet 

Thou'rt mine — my bones shall be within thy breast, 
My soul within thy language, which once set 
With our old Roman sway in the wide West ; 
But I will make another tongue arise 
As lofty and more sweet ..." 

The other is an apostrophe to Italy (with which his 
editor compares a page in the Purgatorio) ; it is 
there Byron calls on the men of Italy — '* Romans 
who dare not die " : 

** Sons of the conquerors who overthrew 
Those who overthrew proud Xerxes, where yet lie 
The dead whose tomb Oblivion never knew, 
Are the Alps weaker than Thermopylae ? " 

The '* Prophecy," to quote Mr. E. Hartley Coleridge, 
was written before ** Byron took up the cause of 
Italian independence or threw in his lot with the 
Carbonari." It was in 1820 he wrote to Murray, 
and spoke of a coming storm : " There is that brew- 
ing in Italy which will speedily cut off all security 
of communication." He adds : " I have lived long 
enough among them (the Italians) to feel more for 
them as a nation than for any other people in 
existence ; but they want Union, I was afraid 
they wanted principle too ; and now we have 
learnt how their unity and their principle have 
waxed and strengthened together." 

One might write a long chapter on Byron's 
Italian pages, and a longer still on Shelley's. For 


I'he Book of Italy 

the heart of Shelley led him to love Italy with the 
noblest love any foreign poet has given the land. It 
is to be traced in his poems and his letters alike. With 
a passage from his prose and one from his verse, 
these reminders of what Italy has been to England 
may end. The first is from a letter, written like 
Byron's, as quoted above, in 1820. Its radiantly 
phrased Roman passages come home to us anew, 
now that the triumphs and horrors of war again 
shake the very fabric of Europe : 

** It is built of the finest marble, and the outline 
of the reliefs is in many parts as perfect as if just 
finished. Four Corinthian fluted columns support, 
on each side, a bold entablature, whose bases are 
loaded with reliefs of captives in every attitude of 
humiliation and slavery. The compartments above 
express, in bolder relief, the enjoyment of success ; 
the conqueror on his throne, or in his chariot, or 
nodding over the crushed multitudes, who writhe 
under his horse's hoofs, as those below express the 
torture and abjectness of defeat. There are three 
arches, whose roofs are panelled with fretwork, 
and their sides adorned with similar reliefs. The 
keystone of these arches is supported each by two 
winged figures of Victory, whose hair floats on the 
wind of their own speed, and whose arms are out- 
stretched, bearing trophies, as if impatient to meet. 
They look, as it were, borne from the subject ex- 
tremities of the earth, on the breath which is the 
exhalation of that battle and desolation, which 
it is their mission to commemorate. Never were 
monuments so completely fitted to the purpose 
for which they were designed, of expressing that 


Edoardo Ruhino {Turin) 

I'he Song of Italy 

mixture of energy and error which is called a 

" I walk forth in the purple and golden light of 
an Italian evening, and return by star or moon light, 
through this scene. The elms are just budding, 
and the warm spring winds bring unknown odours, 
all sweet from the country. I see the radiant Orion 
through the mighty columns of the Temple of 
Concord, and the mellow fading light softens down 
the modern buildings of the Capitol, the only ones 
that interfere with the sublime desolation of the 


The other is a mere verse fragment, written in 
1819 : 

" As the sunrise to the night, 

As the north wind to the clouds, 
As the earthquake's fiery flight, 
Ruining mountain solitudes, — 
Everlasting Italy, 
Be those hopes and fears on thee ! " 

On that note, the symphony of the old and new 
Italy as found in English verse — telling how radiant 
the southern light she has reflected on our northern 
coasts, how splendid the idea she has given us of 
a region devoted to liberty, and congenial in all 
her elements to art ! — may pause. 

Ernest Rhys. 



Musica delta 
CoNTESSA Maria Vanden Heuvel. 





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The Book of Italy 




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ad lib. lento. 



Ye have gone up unto the ahar of God, 

O glorious Dead ! 
With white souls mounting from the fields ye trod, 

The fields blood-red. 

To God who giveth you the joy of youth. 

Your youth ye gave, 
With all youth's joy, and hope, and generous truth, 

The world to save. 

God, who distinguisheth between the nations. 

Has chosen you 
To stand His champions through all generations 

Twixt false and true. 

He has brought you to His holy hill, and set you, 

Living, a beacon light ; 
And, falling in the darkness. He has let you 

Shine as the stars in night. 

And ye, triumphant over death and fear, 

Through unimagined hell 
Flashed forward in your heavenly ardours clear. 

And fought, and cheered, and fell. 

Our IVarriors Dead 

You have died for us, your sweet lives you have 

For ours, outworn and sad, 
Oh, we call you back, we need you, but high 
To keep you is too glad. 

H. E. Hamilton King. 

The first lines of the first jour stanzas are the opening 
sentences of the Mass. 


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